The 2018 First Four® set a record attendance for both single game (12,732) and two-night totals (25,068)
NCAA Tournament games at UD Arena continue to see capacity crowds year after year.
Year after year, the NCAA First Four in Dayton draws record ratings and a viewership of millions
Visits from the United States President, British Prime Minister and Ohio Governor (2012)
Ready to shoot some hoops? Want to learn something new? Is tinkering, building and creating something awesome your thing? Then we’ve got just the event for you… Bring your family to participate in an exciting and FREE basketball and educational event for boys and girls, grades K-8 – Cancelled for 2020Learn more
“We’re obviously very disappointed that the NCAA First Four won’t be coming to Dayton in 2021, but, given the state of the pandemic and the need to protect the health of players, fans, event staff, and the entire community, we wholly understand and support the NCAA’s decision. The First Four is a terrific event, and we look forward to it returning to Dayton in 2022 and beyond,” said Slaybaugh. “It gives us a chance to put a spotlight on the Dayton region, our incredible military community, and the many businesses and organizations that come together year after year to make the basketball tournament and Big Hoopla events shine.” - Terry Slaybaugh, Volunteer Chair - The Big Hoopla
The University of Dayton Arena will host the NCAA Tournament First Four through at least 2026.
The Big Hoopla thanks all of our sponsors for their commitment and support. Bringing the #FirstFour to Dayton wouldn't be possible without you!
The Hoopla Ticket Program provides NCAA Tournament tickets, free-of-charge to military servicemen, military families and local students. The highly successful program donates thousands of tickets annually, over 40,000 tickets donated since 2012 and has garnered the financial support from multiple NBA players and top-tier national sponsors.
“As the Volunteer Chair for The Big Hoopla First Four® Local Organizing Committee, I am proud to lead an impressive group of professional volunteers in our commitment to support the NCAA First Four basketball games at the University of Dayton Arena. The Dayton region has weathered the unprecedented 2020 basketball season and the cancellation of the engaging community events our team organizes around the First Four basketball games with full support of our efforts. Our LOC team is focused on the uniqueness of the circumstances and are moving forward with planning for the 2021 games and events. This announcement from the NCAA provides the pivot point of that process. We are looking forward to sharing more about our continued support of airmen, their families and students, as well as our dedication to STEM education. We are honored that Dayton continues to be the ONLY host of the NCAA First Four games.”
“Basketball means everything to the city of Dayton.”
“Bravo [University of Dayton] and [Dayton Basketball] for the First Four. Your city, school, venue, and fans are top notch. Well done and thanks.”.”
“The First Four absolutely belongs in Dayton and we remain confident our community will continue to deliver capacity crowds and a premier championship experience. The Hoopla Ticket Program for Airmen is incredibly special and successful.”
“The people here [Dayton, OH] support college basketball remarkably well, but in a classy way. And I hope the First Four is here forever.”
“The Big Hoopla directly supports the Airmen stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the United States Air Force while we work to strengthen the University of Dayton’s position as America’s #1 NCAA tournament host site.”
“I feel Dayton appreciates us [military members] and I appreciate what they do and the great opportunities the community provides the men and women at Wright-Patterson. Not everyone gets to go to an NCAA game, let alone, one that is hosted in your own city.”
“I say this every year, but I LOVE that the First Four is in Dayton. I hope that never changes.”
“We have the most passionate fans in college basketball! Ultimately, they are the reason The Big Hoopla works. This passion extends to our support for the men and women who serve in the military and their families, and we are grateful to use the events of The Big Hoopla to recognize their service and sacrifice.”
“They’ve got this incredible track record that goes back to the opening round… and the local organizing committee there has just gotten stronger and more committed each and every year. The feedback that we hear from the teams that are participating in First Four is overwhelmingly positive, about the experience that they’re getting, both playing in UD arena in front of a sold out and loud and engaged crowd as well as the hospitality that they experience from the entire Dayton community.”
“Over the past several years, I have witnessed, first-hand the tremendous impact the Hoopla Ticket Program has on Wright-Patt; there is no better community-led program designed to showcase the young men and women from the United States Air Force. The Dayton region continues to demonstrate national leadership and strengthen their reputation as the model for community-base relationships.”
“Thank you to the Hoopla sponsors and the entire Dayton region for all the things you do for Wright-Pat. The community’s support allows the young men and women of the United States Air Force to be part of the NCAA Tournament, experience March Madness, and do so right where the tournament tips-off each year, at UD Arena.”