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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 10:02 pm

Coliseum makes bid to host NCAA events

Journal Gazette

A collaboration of local entities is making an attempt to bring NCAA tournament events to Fort Wayne.

Memorial Coliseum and Visit Fort Wayne have teamed with IPFW and Manchester University to submit bids for NCAA Division I and III championships in four sports for 2018-19 through 2021-22.

Among the bids are Division I men’s basketball First Four games and first- and second-round games in 2019-22; Division I women’s basketball regionals in 2019-22; Division III women’s volleyball finals in 2019-21; Division III men’s basketball finals in 2019-22; Division III women’s basketball finals in 2019-22; and Division III men’s wrestling regionals in 2019-21.

The bids are a result of an effort to reintroduce Fort Wayne to the NCAA and position the city as a premier championship host community, according to a news release. More than 400 predetermined championship sites will be awarded for 24 different NCAA sports.

Event sites and hosts will be announced in December.

"We are excited at the prospect of adding to our championship résumé," Memorial Coliseum General Manager Randy Brown said in the release. "Our objective has been, and will continue to be, to execute the technical aspects of the championship flawlessly, while ensuring that each student-athlete is left with a memorable experience – win or lose."

The Coliseum has hosted four NCAA events – the men’s volleyball championships in 1988, 1994 and 2000, and the Division I men’s hockey Midwest Regional in 2010. It will host the Division III wrestling Midwest Regional in 2017, with Manchester the host school.

"We have prepared proposals that demonstrate our city’s ability to provide the facilities, hotels, attractions and amenities to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience for student-athletes, coaches and fans," Visit Fort Wayne President Dan O’Connell said. "We are extremely grateful to our local NCAA member universities for partnering with us to bid on these high profile tournaments."