Albany, NY—The NCAA® has awarded the 2019 Division I Women’s Basketball Regional and the 2020 Division I Men’s Basketball First and Second Round championships to the SMG managed, Times Union Center.
“The opportunity to host NCAA® Championships is tremendous for Albany County, the city and the region at large. These championships will highlight what a world-class venue the Times Union Center is and provide a significant boost to the local economy. The work we are doing to upgrade and enhance the facility will provide a great experience for fans who attend. We are looking forward to watching the best in college athletics right here in Albany. Our efforts to market the arena and the region have proven successful with this exciting announcement and this is just the beginning for the Times Union Center,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy.
Division I Women’s Basketball was first hosted at the Times Union Center by the MAAC and Siena college in 2015. Times Union Center was previously selected as a regional host site for 2018 and 2019 will mark the third-time NCAA® Women’s Basketball will be held in Albany.
The Times Union Center previously hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball East Regional in 1995 and 2003. Both years, teams competed in front of sold-out crowds. The same is expected for 2020.
“It is exciting to show the world what Albany has to offer. The newly opened Albany Capital Center and the Times Union Center fully complement one another, providing a superior level of service for each NCAA® Championship. The selection of Albany is a testament to this collaboration,” said Gavin Donohue, Chairman of the Albany Convention Center Authority Board.
“The Times Union Center is honored to be selected to host the 2019 Division I Women’s Basketball and 2020 Division I Men’s First and Second Rounds. The Times Union Center has a long history with the NCAA® and we are excited to continue the tradition of hosting outstanding championships. Thanks to the capital investment made by Albany County, the Times Union Center is currently undergoing major renovations which helped us to earn these selections and will be sure to enhance the student-athlete and visitor experience,” said Bob Belber, SMG Regional Manager of the Times Union Center.
The NCAA® 2019 Division I Women’s Basketball and 2020 Division I Men’s First and Second Rounds are expected to bring a number of guests from outside the capital region which will have a tremendous economic impact on the area. According to Destination Marketing Association International, NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball is projecting an impact of $3.25M. In 2015, NCAA women’s basketball brought in $1.3M in total sales, including $793K in direct sales. In 2016, NCAA hockey brought in $849K in total sales, including $527K in direct sales.
“The NCAA tournaments really build destination awareness,” said Michele Vennard, President and CEO of Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “You’ve got all of the U.S. looking at Albany. That’s important.”
For more information on all of the NCAA championship sites awarded, log on to www.ncaa.com/site-selections.