Dayton Is No Longer a Lock to Host the First Four

Mike Lawrie

Dayton may be losing the First Four as the NCAA takes it's tournament kickoff out to bid. What are some locations that could serve as an alternate location for the event?

Dayton has hosted the NCAA's play-in games for March Madness for a decade now. Over those ten years the people of Dayton and the University have totally embraced the event and have packed the 13,000 seat UD Arena no matter who was taking center-stage in the tournament's kick off event. The "First Four" has even garnered a visit from President Obama a couple of years ago.

Now it seems as if Dayton being the home of the First Four may be in trouble.  WDTN recently commented on the bid process:

The University of Dayton submitted a proposal, that if accepted, would have kept the tournament in Dayton beyond 2015.

That proposal was declined, according to Dave Worlock, director of media relations with the NCAA, and Dayton First Four organizers were told they had to go through the proper bidding process

Dayton would certainly have a leg up in the bid process for the event that annually brings $11 million worth of revenue to the city.  But what are some other venues that could possibly enhance the First Four?

For years, fans have dreamed about the NCAA Tournament visiting some of the country's most historic venues. This may not be feasible for any of the "regular" rounds of the NCAA Tournament, but could the First Four be a perfect staging ground for this endeavor? Might the 10,000 seat Hinkle Fieldhouse serve as a suitable venue? Or Philly's 8,700 seat Palestra?

Let your imagination run wild...where would you like to see the First Four in the future?

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