How exciting that Wichita has been selected to host first- and second-round games in the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The selection reflects highly on the city, Intrust Bank Arena and the Wichita officials and groups that spearheaded the bid, especially Wichita State University.
Many county residents who voted to build the arena did so in hopes of it hosting NCAA tournament games. Their optimism has paid off – three times now.
Wichita hosted the opening rounds of the 2011 women’s tournament. And it will host the first two rounds of next year’s men’s tournament.
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To be selected again for the 2021 games is amazing.
As with next year’s tournament, WSU will serve as the official host in 2021, and the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, Visit Wichita, the arena, and the city and Sedgwick County will assist. This united front – as well as Wichita’s reputation for having rabid basketball fans – helped Wichita win the bid.
In addition to giving area residents a chance to watch one of our nation’s premier sporting events, the tournament will bring in visitors who will spend time and money in area shops, restaurants and hotels. And as Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell said Tuesday, they will learn that Wichita is not only a great place to visit but also a great place to live and work.
WSU associate athletic director Brad Pittman said that “our goal all along has been to make Wichita a regular host.” That sounds great.
The more March Madness the merrier.