This is the third time that Jacksonville has been picked to host and will be the first time since 2010.
Jacksonville University will serve as the host institution, as it did in 2006 and 2010. In 2006, the Arena was sold out ahead of the event as Florida began its run of back-to-back national titles. In 2010, Duke started its run to a national title in Jacksonville in front of near capacity crowds.
"We will host one of the greatest sports events in our country,'' Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown said. "The rest of America and the world are finding out Jacksonville is a world-class destination.''
Brown said estimates are the city will see about a $12 million economic impact for the event in which eight teams will participate.
"Jacksonville University is thrilled to be selected as a host institution for the 2015 NCAA basketball Tournament. Our partnership with the community makes it possible for us to be a host for the third time within 10 years," said Kerry D. Romesburg, president of Jacksonville University. "March Madness is such an exciting time and we look forward to providing the best experience possible for our students, community and competitors. Jacksonville is a great sports city."
JU Director of Athletics Brad Edwards echoed Romesburg’s sentiments.
“We are extremely excited on behalf of the University to be selected to host an event of this magnitude,’’ Edwards said. “It brings tremendous visibility for not only Jacksonville University, but the City of Jacksonville as well.’’
Edwards said teamwork was paramount to receiving the tournament.
“Constructing the bid was a team effort and the confidence placed in us by the NCAA has certainly been strengthened by the terrific job the University and City have done previously hosting this event.’’
Jacksonville's bid was enhanced by the new scoreboard at Veterans Memorial Arena, as well as a history of successfully hosting the tournament with student-athlete and fan experiences rating high in the two previous trips to the city.
“The bid process was as competitive as ever, with 53 cities expressing the desire to be a part of one of the world’s premier sporting events,” NCAA vice president of men’s basketball Dan Gavitt said. “We are thrilled for our hosts for the ’14 and ’15 tournaments, as they include a mix of cities that have proven over the course of several decades how to stage this great event, as well as cities that have come on to the scene in recent years and have embraced the tournament."
For more information about the NCAA men's basketball championship, visit www.ncaa.com