March Madness is returning to the City Beautiful. The NCAA announced that the City of Orlando and the Amway Center will host first and second round games in the Men’s Basketball Championship in 2017.
In partnership with the City of Orlando and Orange County, the tournament games will be hosted by UCF, Stetson and the Central Florida Sports Commission.
“We’re excited that Orlando and the Amway Center have once again been awarded as a host city for the NCAA Basketball Championships,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We envisioned precisely these types of high caliber events for our Community Venues and for our region that offer incredible experiences and bolster our local economy.”
In 2014, the Amway Center hosted six NCAA Tournament contests. The games attracted more than 16,000 visitors from across the United States to Central Florida and generated $13 million in economic impact for the region.
Orlando also hosted NCAA Tournament games in 1993, 1996, 1999 and 2004 at the old Amway Arena.
The first and second round games in 2017 will add to the already growing list of marquee college sporting events that will be hosted in Orlando. The Central Florida Sports Commission, UCF and the Amway Center will host the American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship in 2016 and 2017. The Central Florida Sports Commission and UCF will also host the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s College Cup at the new Orlando City Soccer Stadium.
In December 2015, the new Orlando Citrus Bowl will be the only facility in the country to host three bowl games in the Cure Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl and Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.