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UD Arena to host OHSAA boys and girls basketball state tournaments through 2024

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, May 3, 2021, 1:55 pm

If it ain’t broke …

After the University of Dayton’s UD Arena successfully hosted the OHSAA boys and girls basketball finals — the former in a pinch, after the previous contract was not fulfilled — the two announced Monday that the facility will be the home of the events for the next three seasons, as well.

“We are very excited that our student-athletes will get to play at UD Arena,” OHSAA executive director Doug Ute said in a Monday news release. “Even with the pandemic limiting what all could take place at the state tournaments last March, our schools still had a great experience at UD Arena, and UD made it very clear that they wanted to host both the girls and boys state tournaments moving forward. We know that the support for basketball in Southwest Ohio is very strong and UD wants to be the home of the state tournaments.” 

UD Arena was already announced as the home for the OHSAA girls finals for 2021-23, but a new contract supersedes that, bringing both the boys and the girls to Dayton for the next three seasons, through 2024.

The OHSAA finals had been hosted by Ohio State every year except for two — 1986 for both genders and 1987 for the boys — since the inception of the girls tournament in 1976. OSU was supposed to host the 2021 boys tournament — a run that dated back to 1957, but for the two years in the mid-1980s — but was unable to, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The recently renovated UD Arena seats 13,000, and regularly hosts district and regional prep contests, as well as the Dayton Flyers and NCAA tournament games. 

“We are very excited to host the state tournaments at UD Arena,” UD senior associate athletics director Scott DeBolt said in the news release. “In addition to our love of the Dayton Flyers, we are so proud to host many great events here, including the NCAA First Four, and we are pleased and grateful to welcome the OHSAA girls and boys basketball state tournaments to UD Arena. Our community will support the state tournaments just like our other events and this will be a special place for the teams, schools and communities that reach the state tournaments.”