Tulsa Selected As Host Site Of NCAA Men's Basketball Tourney

Monday, September 21st 2009, 6:01 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- March Madness games will soon be played on Tulsa time. Tulsa's BOK Center will host the 2011 NCAA First-Second Round Division I Men's Basketball tournament.

The city of Tulsa is among eight cities that will host first and second round games.  Approximately 70 cities submitted bids to host the tournament.

Tulsa hasn't hosted a First-Second round tournament since 1985. 

Monday's announcement is good news for fans wanting to see live tournament action and it's also great news for the city's budget. The tournament is expected to bring $4 million to $6 million dollars to Tulsa's economy.

Christine Taylor is the Dilly Deli Manager. She has a pretty good reason to hate basketball.

"I am not a basketball fan. March Madness ruins my birthday every year," said Christine Taylor, Dilly Deli manager.

But March Madness is coming to Tulsa and Taylor couldn't be more excited.

"Anything really that brings more people, and especially people from out of town, into the downtown Tulsa area, is always exciting to me. I think Tulsa as a city gets a second-hand attitude, because a lot of people don't know about it," said Christine Taylor.

In 2011, the road to the Final Four starts in Tulsa.

"This is a little bit of a field of dreams. Build it, and they will come," said Sheila Curley, Tulsa Sports Commission.

For basketball, the BOK Center holds 18,000 fans. They'll come from all over the country and Sheila Curley of The Tulsa Sports Commission says those dollars will make a big difference.

"The impact of getting thousands of people into the BOK Center, the tickets, and the hotels, and the restaurants, we're estimating $4 million to $6 million in economic impact," said Sheila Curley, Tulsa Sports Commission.

Some of the other cities that'll host the tournament's opening rounds include Washington D.C., Cleveland and Chicago.