By Mitch Spinell
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The University of Dayton and the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Monday that the OHSAA boys and girls state basketball tournaments would be held at the former's arena through the 2024 season.
UD Arena in Dayton, which hosted the most recent tournaments back in March, had already been announced as the new home for the championships for the 2021, 2022, and 2023 season, although thee new agreement will replace the original contract.
“We are very excited that our student-athletes will get to play at UD Arena,” OHSAA executive director Doug Ute said Monday. “Even with the pandemic limiting what all could take place at the state tournaments last March, our schools still had a great experience at UD Arena, and UD made it very clear that they wanted to host both the girls and boys state tournaments moving forward. We know that the support for basketball in Southwest Ohio is very strong and UD wants to be the home of the state tournaments.”
Renovated in 2019, UD Arena has a current seating capacity of 13,000 and has played host to many OHSAA basketball district and regional tournament games, along with Atlantic 10 Conference and NCAA tournament games. During the regular season, it is the home of the University of Dayton Flyers women’s and men’s basketball teams.
“We are very excited to host the state tournaments at UD Arena,” said Scott DeBolt, Senior Associate Athletics Director at the University of Dayton and Executive Director of UD Arena. “In addition to our love of the Dayton Flyers, we are so proud to host many great events here, including the NCAA First Four, and we are pleased and grateful to welcome the OHSAA girls and boys basketball state tournaments to UD Arena. Our community will support the state tournaments just like our other events and this will be a special place for the teams, schools and communities that reach the state tournaments.”
Prior to its move to UD Arena in March, the OHSAA girls basketball state tournament had been hosted by The Ohio State University every year since it inaugural state tournament in 1976 (except in 1986 when it was hosted by the University of Akron). The OHSAA boys basketball state tournament had been hosted by Ohio State every year since 1957, except for 1986 and 1987 when it was hosted at UD Arena. The 2021 OHSAA boys basketball state tournament was scheduled to be hosted at St. John Arena in Columbus, but the facility was unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The OHSAA did not have a contract in place with Ohio State for the boys tournament beyond the 2021 agreement that was voided.