NCAA Tournament Returning To Tulsa's BOK Center In 2019
TULSA, Oklahoma - The NCAA has announced Tulsa's BOK Center will again host the first and second rounds of men's Division I basketball in 2019.
The Tulsa Sports Commission says it's happy to welcome back the NCAA in such a short time.
"It's a process the NCAA goes through and we're happy to be a part of it, happy to be a destination,” said Executive Director Vince Trinidad. “The fact that the NCAA is coming back, I think for us that speaks volumes. Can you imagine what it will be like in 2019; there's a lot of things that are happening, very positive momentum."
The Center played host to the first and second round games of the Big Dance last month. It was a success, bringing in over $10 million dollars to the city. However, Tulsa did dream higher bids were submitted for NCAA Wrestling National Championships and Tennis National Championships and the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds in basketball.
"Of course, the crown jewel for us would have been wrestling as well,” said Trinidad. “But there's always another four-year cycle. Plus, we still have Big 12 wrestling."
Basketball's smallest metro area for regionals was Louisville. Wrestling will all be in arena and stadium housing pro teams. But the Sports Commission is hopeful Tulsa is building to bigger events.
"Tulsa's always got to punch above its weight because it's in between Kansas City and Dallas,” stated Vice President Ray Hoyt. “We found that people don't have a bad perception of Tulsa, they just don't have one. So, the reality is, hosting things like NCAA and Big 12 give people perception of Tulsa that now is positive."
Tulsa intends to bid for national championships in the future.
In 2019, the First and Second round games will be played on March 22nd and 24th.
The NCAA Tournament made its first appearance at the BOK Center back in 2011.