DAYTON - If there's one thing anyone involved with the NCAA tournament games in Dayton wants to see this week, it's a packed house at every game.
UD Arena will host, starting today, 10 tournament games through Sunday with teams including Ohio State, Indiana and Notre Dame. All the games have been sold out as the number of marquee teams drove demand for the remaining tickets Sunday night.
The Local Organizing Committee wants the NCAA to permanently keep the First Four games here and knows a dense crowd of spectators will help secure it.
"The most important thing is ticket utilization," LOC member Matt Farrell said.
The first First Four game is at 6:40 p.m. today with North Carolina A&T taking on Liberty, followed by Middle Tennessee playing Saint Mary's. At the same start time on Wednesday, LIU Brooklyn will take on James Madison and Boise State will play LaSalle.
Though the arena sold out its allotment of tickets for first-, second- and third-round games, options remain for fans to acquire seats.
The First Four round tickets, for games played Tuesday and Wednesday, have been sold out for months. The final several hundred tickets for the second- and third-round games Friday and Sunday sold out after the tournament field was announced Sunday evening, said Adam Tschuor, director of ticketing at the University of Dayton.
But the NCAA has tickets available in hospitality packages that are more expensive, Tschuor said. The organization also has its own ticket exchange for buying and selling tournament tickets on its ticketing site.
Buyers and sellers can also turn to the secondary ticket market, headlined by the ticket exchange website stubhub.com, to find tickets, even though the games are sold out.
Neil Sullivan, associate director of athletics at UD Arena, said the doors will open 90 minutes before the first game each day.
Traffic near the arena will be heavy at the beginning of rush hour. Ed-win C. Moses Boulevard is the first entrance from Interstate 75 South, and "it gets very busy around 4:30 to 5 o'clock," said Arena Event Services manager Gary McCans.
Jacquelyn Powell, president of the Dayton/ Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau, estimated the impact of last year's First Four and festival at $4 million. This year, with UD also hosting six second- and third-round games, she said a "conservative estimate" is $8 million, which would make it one of the three biggest events of the year for the region.
The impact goes well beyond the 60,000 people who will attend four days of games. Powell said the event helps restaurants and hotels, as well as companies that supply those industries, such as linen companies and food purveyors.
StaffWriters Jeremy Kelley and Kyle Nagel contributed.