The White House to Our House

03.09.2012 | Campus and Community, Hot Topics, Athletics

Sealing the University of Dayton Arena's reputation as THE place to kick off March Madness, President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the start of the NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship Tuesday, March 13.

And he's bringing British Prime Minister David Cameron.

"The presence of President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron reinforces what a great event the First Four is," said Tim O'Connell, the University's senior associate athletics director. "We’ve said many times that when the First Four comes to the University of Dayton Arena, the eyes of the basketball world are on us.  Now, the eyes of the entire world will be on the arena on Tuesday."

O'Connell said arrangements for the president's visit to the NCAA event are being worked out and the arena will have information for ticketholders as soon as possible about access and parking for the day of the game.

The University of Dayton has hosted the start of the Division I men’s basketball championship each year since 2001, having hosted a single opening-round game from 2001-10. After the tournament expanded prior to the 2011 championship, Dayton was selected to host the inaugural First Four, consisting of four first-round games played over two days.

The University of Dayton Arena, which has hosted more NCAA Division I men’s tournament games than any other arena in the country, is hosting the First Four this year and again in 2013, when it also will host second- and third-round games of the championship. Local fans have helped the University of Dayton regularly rank among the top 30 nationally in Division I men’s basketball attendance.