DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – COVID-19 concerns are causing NCAA officials to relocate 13 preliminary round sites for the men’s basketball tournament in 2021. That means Dayton, traditional home of the first four games, loses out for the 2nd straight year.
This means restaurants, businesses and hotels will miss out, again, on about $4.6 million in revenue. The Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau confirmed that annually that’s how much money is generated from the tournament. They said they’re disappointed in the news but looking forward to hosting again in 2022 and through 2026.
Larry Adkisson, general manager of Milano’s a bar on Brown Street, says the energy is usually electric in Dayton, which is considered the epicenter of College Basketball. The loss of this year’s tournament is another blow to business during an already difficult year.
“Dayton is a great basketball city so it doesn’t matter who’s coming, we’re going to pack the arena, we’re going to enjoy it and keep showing up every year,” said Adkisson.
Adkisson also says he thinks the decision was made prematurely.
“I think with the possibility of talking about a vaccine or something coming out, I think we could have waited just a bit longer before making the final decision,” he shared.
But right now, Adkisson says he’s focused on staying open another week as threats of another government shut down in Ohio looms.
To read more on the NCAA’s decision, click here.