Local sports group joins N.O. in bid to hold NCAA basketball regionals in Bossier

Sports

NEW ORLEANS, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – On Monday, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, in partnership with Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, submitted a joint bid to host the 2021 NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Basketball Regionals at the Brookshire Grocery Arena in Bossier City.

If awarded, Centenary College and Louisiana Tech University will serve as co-host institutions, and the Brookshire Grocery Arena and Louisiana Office of Tourism would further round-out the Local Organizing Committee effort.

The NCAA will announce selected hosts in early February and the event is scheduled to take place March 12-16, 2021. The event is expected to generate much needed tourism dollars and positive exposure for the region.

The 2021 NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship tournaments each consist of a 48-team bracket. Each tournament will invite six teams to eight regional sites. The top two teams will receive a bye into the regional semifinals.

A total of five games will be played at each regional site with one team from each advancing to the finals site of each Men’s and Women’s Championship, respectively.

If awarded both events, Shreveport and Bossier City will host 12 teams who will play 10 games over five days.

Kelly Wells, executive director of the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, said the commission is excited about the prospect of holding the tournament in northwest Louisiana, as well as working with the other groups involved.

“This would be an incredible opportunity to strengthen relationships with the NCAA and Shreveport-Bossier City, while providing an economic impact, great central location and state-of -the-art championship venue for these universities,” Wells said.

Shreveport-Bossier City has a good history of hosting successful sporting events, including the BassMaster Classic, the Super Bowl of Bass fishing, on numerous occasions, plus the annual Independence Bowl. Now more than ever, Louisiana citizens and businesses need major events, like the 2021 NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Basketball Regionals, to generate revenue and help recover from the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we plan for major sporting events. We now have to think of innovative ways to re-position our state as a great place to host sporting events and championships, such as the 2021 NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Basketball Regionals,” said Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President and CEO Jay Cicero. “Having previously served as a host for numerous NCAA Basketball events, including multiple Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, as well as the upcoming 2022 Men’s Final Four, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation is proud to collaborate with our partners in Shreveport. Hosting NCAA championship events has proven to have a positive statewide impact, and we are happy to share our 30 plus years of experience with our friends across the State.”

After collaborating on this effort, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation look forward to continuing to work together to attract more major sporting events that will help generate economic impact and positive media exposure for the state.  

“I am so excited to have the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation working together to bring the NCAA basketball championships to Louisiana,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

“This kind of teamwork and sportsmanship is a testament to the spirit of Louisianans and part of what makes the state an ideal location for sporting events like this. I’m confident that if the NCAA chooses to hold this event in our great state, they’ll receive a warm welcome and their athletes and fans will have the opportunity to treat themselves to some amazing experiences, culture and food you’ll find only in Louisiana.”

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