A day after the state hosted a parade to celebrate the national champion men's and women's UConn Huskies basketball teams, the AAC announced Monday that Hartford has been chosen as the host city for the 2015 men's tournament.
The venue will be the 16,000-plus seat XL Center.
“Today’s announcement puts Hartford back in the basketball tournament business," Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. "While this is great news for next year, I am even more excited for what this means in the future. I believe we can and should be in consideration for more NCAA tournament events, and I will continue to push to bring those games to our state."
Aside from bragging rights, being a host city can be a slam dunk for economic activity. One report estimated that the city of Greensboro, N.C, saw an $18 million impact when it hosted the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) men's and women's basketball tournaments in 2011.
In his prepared statement, Malloy added, “I want to thank the American Athletic Conference for making this decision. I also want to send a message to college basketball fans everywhere: come to Hartford next March. You won’t be disappointed. Go Huskies!”The AAC (American Athletic Conference) was known as the Big East Conference up until 2013. It's comprised of teams from the following institutions:
- University of Central Florida
- University of Cincinnati
- University of Connecticut
- University of Houston
- University of Louisville
- University of Memphis
- Rutgers University
- Southern Methodist University
- University of South Florida
- Temple University
In 2014-15, East Carolina University, Tulane University and the University of Tulsa come aboard. And, in the 2015-16 season, the U.S. Naval Academy will join the ranks in football only.