(WTNH)–March Madness is coming to Hartford.
The city will host the first and second rounds of the 2019 men’s basketball tournament, the NCAA announced on Tuesday. Games will be held in the XL Center on March 21 and 23, 2019.
Hartford has not hosted a men’s basketball tournament game since 1998.
The tournament’s first and second rounds will return to New England in 2021 as well, as Providence was selected as one of the hosts for that year. Boston is hosting the NCAA’s Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds next season.
The men’s basketball tournament isn’t the only NCAA championship coming to Connecticut in the near future.
The Division 1 men’s ice hockey regional will be held at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport from March 23-28, 2018. The men’s lacrosse quarterfinal is coming to Rentschler Field in East Hartford on May 18-19, 2019, and the national championships will be held there in both May 2021 and 2022.
The NCAA also announced that the Division 1 men’s golf regional will be held at Yale on May 15-18, 2022.
Those announcements were among some 600 made by the NCAA regarding future championship sites on Tuesday.
Governor Dannel Malloy sent the following statement on the tournament returning to Hartford:
“The NCAA’s announcement that they are choosing Hartford to host the men’s basketball tournament for the first time in over twenty years is proof positive that our state and our capital city remain attractive destinations for large-scale events like this. Above all, this is exciting news for businesses who will benefit from the increased economic output that a tournament of this size will bring to the region.
“Today’s announcement is exactly why we need to ensure that the XL Center continues to function as a state-of-the-art, modernized facility well into the future. Hosting everything from concerts to conferences to major sporting events, the XL Center is an important regional economic driver, generating tax revenue, supporting the surrounding business district, and creating jobs for residents.”