A news conference today at 1:30 p.m. announced that NCAA chose Wichita State University and the Missouri Valley Conference to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship on March 15 & 17, 2018 at INTRUST Bank Arena.
“Today is another example of the Shocker excitement that has Wichita charged,” said Eric Sexton, Wichita State University Director of Athletics. “WSU, in conjunction with the Missouri Valley Conference, is thrilled to be the host institution for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. As we did with last year’s historic season, WSU will continue to represent Wichita with poise and class.”
“It’s a testament to how much Wichita loves basketball,” added A.J. Boleski, SMG General Manager for INTRUST Bank Arena. “We realize how much this means to the community and cannot wait to have Wichita’s world-class facilities in the national spotlight.”
“Throughout the arena’s construction, we all had dreams of hosting this tournament,” said Bob Hanson, president and CEO for the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. “During the 2004 campaign, the most frequently asked question was whether or not Wichita could host the NCAA tournament again. As we build toward 2018, the Sports Commission will continue to advocate for hosting the very finest sporting events.
Wichita was selected from a highly competitive group of qualified cities. Collaboration between the partners who submitted the bid and WSU’s basketball momentum helped position Wichita well.
Seven entities including Wichita State University, the Missouri Valley Conference, INTRUST Bank Arena, Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita came together to create a winning bid. The comprehensive bid packet showed Wichita had the necessary facilities and a supportive community to host fun events such as a proposed three-day Fanfest.
“Wichita will provide a fantastic welcome to sports fans from across the country,” said Susie Santo, Go Wichita President and CEO. “Visitors will not only enjoy great basketball but also the community’s numerous amenities and well-known hospitality. This is a huge win for Wichita.”