Complete NCAA Release in PDF Format
Oct. 29, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS - The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced regional sites for the 2011 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championships, and the tournament is returning to the University of Dayton Arena. The Arena had already been awarded regional games that will be played this season on March 28 and 30. In fact, ticket orders are now being taken for the 2010 regional games.
It is just the third time that a regional will be played at the same facility in successive years since the tournament began awarding regionals to dedicated neutral sites. Greensboro hosted consecutive regionals in 2007 and 2008, and Oklahoma City did it in 2008 and 2009. It also happened four times in the first decade of the NCAA tournament when then-women's basketball powers Louisiana Tech, USC, Old Dominion and Texas all hosted multiple times. The NCAA began conducting women's Division I basketball championships in 1982.
"We are very happy that the NCAA women's regional will return to the University of Dayton in 2011," UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Tim Wabler said. "It is extremely rare that the NCAA tournament plays at the same venue in back-to-back years, and we are gratified that the NCAA basketball committee and championship staff has demonstrated such a high level of confidence in our Arena staff, the Dayton community, and our fans."
"The best possible experience for the teams and the student-athletes is a top priority in the site selection process, and our fans really tip the scales in our favor. They help create the electric atmosphere in UD Arena, and they also make the teams feel welcome when they are around town. It's important to our fans, just as it is important to us, when the NCAA tournament comes to Dayton."
In addition to this year's East Regional, Dayton has been the site of women's regionals in 1998, 2003 and 2007. The playing dates for the 2011 women's regional at the University of Dayton Arena will be March 26 and 28.
"This is very exciting for women's college basketball in our region," UD women's basketball coach Jim Jabir said. "Our sport has a lot of momentum right now. We're picked third in one of the strongest women's basketball conferences in the country, we open the year at home with two teams in Michigan State and Louisville who very likely could be back at the Arena this coming March in the 2010 regional, and now this announcement that the tournament is coming back in 2011 only reinforces that."
"This is really big news for all the women's basketball fans and especially the up-and-coming young players who are in this area," Jabir concluded.
"Although our team would not be able to play in the regionals at the Arena, this is great for our women's basketball program," Wabler added. "This part of the country is a hotbed for women's basketball at the high school and college levels, and having the NCAA women's regionals in Dayton in back-to-back years raises the profile of our women's basketball team that is already a post-season-caliber program."
The University of Dayton Arena has hosted NCAA men's and women's tournament events in 24 of its 40 years since opening its doors for the 1969-70 season. To date, UD Arena has hosted 82 NCAA men's tournament games, one behind Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium and one ahead of the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. In addition to the NCAA women's regionals in 2010 and 2011, the Arena is also scheduled to host the NCAA Men's Opening Round Game through 2013, and the Men's First and Second Rounds in 2013.