BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — For the first time in several years, Birmingham will be the site for the the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament for Division I men’s basketball in 2023 and the Division I women’s basketball southern regional in 2025.
According to the NCAA, the games will be held at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena, which is currently undergoing extensive renovations and is expected to be reopened in 2022. The announcement was made Wednesday by the NCAA.
“This is a perfect example of cooperation between public and private partners to elevate Birmingham’s position as a great place to host world class events like March Madness,” Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said in a statement. “For too long, we’ve had to watch other southeastern cities host the men’s and women’s Division I tournaments. With the renovation and expansion of the BJCC, we are firmly back in the game and committed to competing for top tier sporting and entertainment events.”
The last time the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was held in Birmingham was 2008. The 2025 women’s basketball tournament will be the first time ever for the tournament to come to the city.
“The Southeastern Conference is proud to serve as the host and join in the collaborative effort that will bring the NCAA Basketball Tournament to Birmingham,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “March is annually one of the most exciting months on the college sports calendar, and Birmingham will be in the nation’s focus in 2023 and 2025. Our thanks to the City of Birmingham, the BJCC, the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau and Knight Eady for joining the SEC in this successful effort.”
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