Festival Won’t Return To Dayton With March Madness

Opening games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament return to southwest Ohio this year, but a Dayton street party marking the tournament’s start will not.

The Dayton Daily News reports the party held in 2012 as the First Four Festival included food and music and drew about 15,000 people. Organizers canceled it last year, saying the NCAA no longer allowed local sponsorships of public events surrounding the tournament, but said they expected to have a festival again in 2014.

Instead, organizers with the community-led group have decided to focus on the atmosphere for the first-round games held at the University of Dayton Arena and on trying to ensure Dayton remains the kickoff spot for March Madness after next year.

The games create millions of dollars in local economic impact.