DETROIT – It was announced Monday that Detroit was selected as one of the eight host sites for first- and second-round games in the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. University of Detroit Mercy will serve as the host institution with the games being played at the new Detroit arena March 16 & 18. Exact times and ticket availability for those contests will be released at a later date.
"On behalf of University of Detroit Mercy and President Antoine Garibaldi, we are thrilled to be the host school for the first and second rounds of the 2018 Division I Men's Basketball Championship in Detroit," said UDM Director of Athletics Robert C. Vowels, Jr. "University of Detroit Mercy has a tremendous basketball history that aligns very well with the men's basketball championship. We believe we have the best venue which is the new Detroit arena and partners such as the Mayor's Office, Olympia Entertainment and the Detroit Sports Commission."
The new arena, which will be completed in the summer of 2017, will be a part of The District Detroit, a walk able, livable sports and entertainment district that serves to connect Detroit along Woodward Avenue between Downtown and Midtown. The District is dozens of blocks made up of five new, mixed-use neighborhoods, each anchored by world-class venues such as the new arena, the Fox Theatre, Masonic Temple, Comerica Park, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Ford Field, Detroit Opera House and the Fillmore Detroit. The development of The District is a unique opportunity to accelerate the revitalization of Detroit by linking existing development efforts and current residents with new development, new residents, jobs, visitors and businesses.
"Hosting marquee events like the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament will bring a significant economic impact to Detroit, while providing a great platform for showcasing our city and the new Detroit Sports and Entertainment District," said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment. "Many major events will be coming to the Detroit Events Center, and we look forward to announcing more in the months to come. Congratulations to University of Detroit Mercy and the Detroit Sports Commission for bringing this incredible event to our region."
Downtown Detroit last hosted the NCAA tournament in 2009 and 2008, when the men's Final Four and Midwest Regional were played at Ford Field, respectively. The Palace of Auburn Hills welcomed early round games in 2013. In addition to the tournament, the area has welcomed other NCAA events, including the Men's Frozen Four (2010), the Division I Wrestling Championship (2007), and the Women's Bowling National Championship (2009, 2011, 2013).
"The NCAA's decision to bring the tournament back to Metro Detroit supports our belief that the region is a world-class sports destination," said Dave Beachnau, Detroit Sports Commission Executive Director. "We look forward to again creating a memorable experience for the NCAA, the teams, and fans. Thank you to University of Detroit Mercy for its role serving as the host institution as well as the Ilitch Organization and Olympia Entertainment for allowing the opportunity to host the event in the new arena."
About Olympia Entertainment
Olympia Entertainment, a Detroit-based company owned by entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch, is one of the country's most diverse sport and entertainment companies and the largest organization of its kind in the mid-west. The company owns and operates Detroit's Fox Theatre, the intimate City Theatre and also books and operates Joe Louis Arena and books Comerica Park. Olympia Entertainment also handles business operations for the Detroit Red Wings, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and collaborates with the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise and other Ilitch companies.
Other Ilitch companies include: Little Caesars Pizza, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, the Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesar Pizza Kits Fundraising Program, Olympia Development and Uptown Entertainment. Additionally, Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers, Inc., and Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.
To learn more about Olympia Entertainment, visit www.olympiaentertainment.com. Also follow Olympia on Twitter @OEontheGo and at facebook.com/officialolympiaentertainment.
About the Detroit Sports Commission
The mission of the Detroit Sports Commission is to enhance the local economy and image of metro Detroit by attracting and hosting amateur, international and professional sporting events. The DSC is a not-for-profit charitable organization, IRS 501 (C) (3), and a subsidiary of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Learn more about the Detroit Sports Commission at www.detroitsports.org and on Facebook (facebook.com/dsports) and Twitter (@detsports).
About the University of Detroit Mercy
University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan's largest, private Catholic University with more than 100 academic majors and programs. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy, the University has campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.
UDM is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities and the largest of 17 Mercy institutions of higher education in the United States. For the 14th consecutive year, University of Detroit Mercy is listed in the top tier of Midwest universities in the 2015 edition of the U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges." UDM was also named one of Money Magazine's "Best Colleges," based on graduation rates, degree cost and return on investment.