Wichita will again be in the national spotlight when it hosts the NCAA men's basketball tournament in 2018. As KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports, the exposure is just one of the perks that comes with championship play.
The first two rounds of the tournament will be played at Intrust Bank Arena March 15 and 17 in 2018.
The NCAA announced its bid selections on Monday. Bob Hanson, the president of the Greater Wichita Sports Commission helped get the arena built, and says he’s been waiting a long time for this day to come.
“Persistence pays off. And we kept trying and trying and it was a big day," Hanson says. "It was a milestone for the city of Wichita today.”
Hanson says hosting the tournament could bring a $10 million boost to Wichita. Seven hotels are already designated for the teams, league officials and media. And then there’s the fans: Thousands of them are expected to attend the weekend games, eat and stay in Wichita.
Intrust Bank Arena hosted games for the NCAA women's basketball tournament back in 2011. But the men's tournament hasn’t been in Wichita since 1994.