Evansville, OVC reach agreement to keep basketball tournament at Ford Center

Evansville, OVC reach agreement to keep basketball tournament at Ford Center

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The city has come to an agreement with the Ohio Valley Conference to hold the men’s and women’s championships at the Ford Center through 2023.

The agreement also includes a fourth-year option to extend it thru 2024. That will be voted on no later than 2022.

The OVC Basketball Championships were first held in Evansville in 2018 and the 2019 tournament brought record crowds to the Ford Center. The men’s semifinals drew in a neutral site record of over 8,000 fans, with that mark broken the very next night with an attendance of over 10,500 fans.

It was estimated that the 2019 tournament generated $1.2 million for the city.

“Just last year the NCAA put out a video showing Evansville as the first host city to punch a ticket to the NCAA Tournament," Eric Marvin, Evansville Sports Corp., said. "To have that opportunity again for an extended period of time now moving forward, I think is an incredible testament to what we’ve been able to accomplish as a community. There’s a lot of people involved in making this happen, from our community leaders to our corporate leaders to the fans that come out and support. I expect that we’re gonna see huge numbers again in 2020.”

The men’s and women’s OVC Basketball Championships will be held during the first week of March thru the next four years.

The upcoming 2020 finals will be played at the Ford Center March 4-7.

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