July 6, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS - Saint Joseph's University has been selected to host the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship first and second-round games at the Wachovia Center, as the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee today announced the 24 cities that will serve as hosts for the first and second round and regional games in 2009 and 2010. The Philadelphia games will be played on March 19 and 21, 2009.
The Wachovia Center has previously been the site of the 2006 NCAA Men's First and Second Rounds, which was hosted by the Atlantic 10 Conference; the 2001 NCAA Men's East Regional; and the 2000 NCAA Women's Final Four. The Wachovia Center is also slated to host the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Saint Joseph's was the co-host of the 2000 NCAA Women's Final Four at the Wachovia Center, sharing responsibilities with the University of Pennsylvania. SJU also hosted the 1992 NCAA Women's Regional at the Palestra.
"On behalf of the University, we are pleased to partner with the Wachovia Center and the Philadelphia Sports Congress to bring back another major sporting event to the city," said SJU Director of Athletics Don DiJulia. "Saint Joseph's is just one of the city's institutions which has brought high level events to this area over the years. It is a tribute to the region's fan base, the quality facilities and the outstanding convention and visitors bureau that we can continue to do this."
"It's a true testament to the college basketball fans of the Greater Philadelphia Region who support the area's college basketball programs and the NCAA that helped us (once again) secure the Men's NCAA first and second round games for the Wachovia Center," said Global Spectrum Chief Operating Officer John Page, who is also General Manager of Wachovia Center. "We're ecstatic the NCAA is returning so quickly to Philadelphia. It's great for our fans."
"Philadelphia is delighted to once again host the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in 2009,"said Larry Needle, executive director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress. "In March, we hosted three sellout sessions at the Wachovia Center, and the NCAA obviously felt great about all that Philadelphia has to offer. We estimate that the event will generate nearly 5,000 hotel room nights and an economic impact of almost $10M for the region, not to mention tremendous national exposure."
Other cities hosting games on the first weekend of the 2009 tournament are Dayton, Ohio (University of Dayton/Univ. of Dayton Arena); Miami, Fla. (Florida International University/American Airlines Arena); Minneapolis, Minn. (University of Minnesota/HHH Metrodome); Greensboro, N.C. (Atlantic Coast Conference/Greensboro Coliseum); Kansas City, Mo. (Big 12 Conference/Sprint Center); Portland, Ore. (University of Oregon/Rose Garden); and Spokane, Wash. (Washington State University/Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena).
As selected by the committee in 2003, Detroit is the host of the 2009 Final Four and Indianapolis is the site of the 2010 Final Four.
Cities chosen for the 2010 first and second rounds are: Buffalo, N.Y. (MAAC/Canisius College/Niagara University/HSBC Arena); Jacksonville, Fla. (Jacksonville University/Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum); Oklahoma City, Okla. (Big 12 Conference/Ford Center): Milwaukee, Wisc. (Marquette University/Bradley Center); Providence, R.I. (Providence College/Big East Conference/Dunkin Donuts Center); New Orleans, La. (Tulane University/New Orleans Arena); San Jose, Calif. (San Jose State University; HP Pavilion); and Boise, Idaho (Boise State University/Taco Bell Arena).
Comcast-Spectacor (comcast-spectacor.com) is the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL), the two arenas in which their teams play, the Wachovia Center and Wachovia Spectrum, four Flyers Skate Zone community ice skating and hockey rinks and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. In addition, Comcast-Spectacor is also the principal owner of Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly management field with more than 50 facilities throughout the United States and Canada; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage service provider; New Era Tickets, a ticketing and marketing company for public assembly facilities; Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company; and 3601 Creative Group, a full-service in-house advertising agency. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Bowie Baysox, the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Frederick Keys baseball teams, all affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles. In a partnership with Disson Skating, Comcast-Spectacor annually produces 10 nationally televised figure skating spectaculars on NBC.
Philadelphia is one of the nation's great sport cities. The Philadelphia Sports Congress (www.philadelphiasportscongress.org), a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, seeks to attract major sporting events and conventions to the Philadelphia area. Philadelphia hosted the NCAA's largest championship during 2006, the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships, and was ranked as the nation's number one city for college basketball by The Sporting News in 2005.