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University of Dayton Arena (commonly known as UD Arena) is a 13,435-seat multi-purpose arena located in Dayton, Ohio. The arena opened in 1969. It is home to the University of Dayton Flyers basketball teams. From 2001 to 2010, the facility hosted the annual "play-in" game in the NCAA men's basketball tournament (officially the "opening round" game) which featured the teams rated 64th and 65th in the tournament field. Beginning in 2011, when the tournament expanded to four opening-round games, the arena continued to host all "first four" games. Overall, the arena has hosted more men's NCAA Division I basketball tournament games than any other venue.
|Location||1801 Edwin C. Moses Blvd|
Dayton, OH 45417-4666
|Owner||University of Dayton|
|Broke ground||November 7, 1968|
|Opened||December 6, 1969|
|Construction cost||approximately $4.5 million|
($33.1 million in 2019 dollars)
The playing court is known as Blackburn Court, named after historic UD coach Tom Blackburn. The Donoher Center expansion on the southwest corner of the arena was completed in 1998. Named for former Flyers basketball coach Don Donoher, the Center provides an NBA-caliber facility for conditioning and game preparation. The arena was extensively renovated during the summer of 2002. The additions include new and expanded concession areas, luxury boxes, disabled access improvements, and a restaurant/bar named the Time-Warner Flight Deck. Because of this, the venue was awarded the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic 10 Conference men's basketball tournaments. In 2010, four new video screens by Daktronics were installed, one in each of the arena's four corners. Following the 2016–17 basketball season, a 3-year renovation project began at UD Arena. The renovation includes updated seating, a new four-sided video board above center court, new club seating, new corner terrace suites, updated bathrooms, new ticket office location, and improved arena Wi-Fi. These renovations are expected to be completed by 2020.
The arena has been hailed by sportscasters and opponent coaches alike as one of the greatest venues in college basketball. Since its opening in 1969, over 14 million visitors have witnessed events at the arena. In 2002, the arena was the site of the first ever high-definition television (HDTV) broadcast for ESPN.
The arena was opened on December 6, 1969.
As of 2017, the University of Dayton has ranked in the top 25 in the nation for attendance at the arena 21 times. 10th during 1972, 1974. 17th during 1978. 18th during 2005. 20th during 1979, 1987. 21st during 1985, 1986. 22nd during 1980, 2017. 23rd during 2002, 2006. 24th during 1988, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2015. 25th during 1981, 1984, 2004, 2016.
NCAA basketball tournament hostingEdit
The arena has hosted NCAA Tournament games 24 times since it opened. Along with its hosting duties for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Opening Round game ("play-in" game), it also served as the host of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now Horizon League) men's basketball conference tournament from 1989 to 1991 and was the host of the Atlantic Ten Basketball tournament in 2003 and 2004. The arena hosted the Opening Round game through 2010, when it was also a regional venue for the women's tournament. It then became the first location for the revised opening round of four games for the men's tournament in March 2011.
The University of Dayton Arena hosted second- and third-round games of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament as well as the four opening-round games of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 tournaments. Through March 15, 2018, it has hosted 119 games in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament over its history, making it the most used venue to host NCAA Men's Tournament games ahead of Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium which has hosted 83.
In 1972, the new World Hockey Association looked to put a team in Dayton, but UD Arena did not have an ice plant, and the university balked at the cost of installing one. (That franchise eventually became the Houston Aeros.)
As the largest indoor arena between Cincinnati and Columbus, UD Arena is often a regular stop for concert tours. Elton John, Elvis Presley, Aerosmith, Rush, Bob Seger, Mötley Crüe, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Usher, Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z and other performers have performed at this arena. It has also been host to the Winter Guard International color guard, indoor percussion and winds World Championships since 2005, and sporadically prior to that. It also hosted the Royal Hanneford Circus for most of the 1990s. WWE has hosted matches at the UD Arena since the 1980s. The Flyer Pep Band, UD's world-renowned, premier basketball pep band led by Dr. Willie Morris, plays at every UD basketball game at the arena. The University of Dayton holds its graduation ceremonies at the arena.
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- "College basketball arena rankings: No place like Kansas' home". Kansas City Star. January 14, 2014.
- Dayton Flyers (March 29, 2012). ""Best Under-the-Radar College Basketball Atmosphere"" – via YouTube.
- "NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Attendance Leaders Year-by-Year (1970–2010)" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- Harris, Doug (February 13, 2012). "UD pushing toward First Four sellout". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved February 14, 2012.