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A Different Kind Of March Madness Comes To UD Arena

An image of a UD Flyers home basketball game, with a packed arena and both teams on the court in play.
Jason Reynolds
UD Arena will be hosting big games this March, but the crowds won't be what they were before the pandemic.

The University of Dayton Arena will be home to this year’s boys and girls Ohio high school basketball tournaments. The A-10 men’s college title game is coming to Dayton too.

Scott DeBolt, Executive Director of UD Arena, says having three championship games in Dayton softens the blow of losing this year’s NCAA First Four. Those games have been moved to the national tournament bubble in Indiana.

"Not having the First Four, as much as it hurts the economic impact around here, it probably hurts morale more," he says. "So, we’re excited to have these events. We plan all year for March Madness, so we’re excited to have some Madness back in March."

This comes at a time when Ohio sports venues are being allowed to increase attendance. DeBolt says he expects capacity to jump from 300 to about 1,300.

While that’s only 10% of the arena’s capacity, it will be the most fans UD has hosted since the pandemic started.