Arenas getting ready to host NCAA March Madness

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(Photo supplied/NCAA)

A handful of Indiana’s basketball arenas are making preparations to host the entire NCAA men’s basketball tournament in the state of Indiana.

Games will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, as well as Assembly Hall in Bloomington and Mackey Arena in West Lafayette.

Hinkle Fieldhouse, built in 1928 on the campus of Butler University, has not hosted an NCAA Tournament game since 1940. Butler athletic director Barry Colliar is excited to have it back, but they have had to make some tweaks to their plans for the month of March.

“We want to help make this happen however we can,” Colliar said to Inside Indiana Business. “We’ve moved schedules for some of our teams that play competitions, so those schedules got moved and our conference cooperated with that.”

Indiana Farmers Coliseum, which used to be the home of the ABA Indiana Pacers and has hosted high school boys’ state championships and high school tournament games in the past, is also up to the challenge, says Indiana State Fair Commission executive director Cindy Hoye.

Both venues are also prepping to make sure everyone stays safe in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Great history at the state fairgrounds and we’re excited to show it off to the world,” Hoye said. “A lot of the protocols and guidelines are still being developed with the NCAA, but from a venue standpoint all of our venues are up and running and so a lot of the protocols are already in place.”

Assembly Hall and Mackey Arena have not host NCAA Tournament games since the 1980’s. Evansville will be hosting the entire Division II men’s tournament around the Ford Center and Fort Wayne is hosting the entire Division III tournament around the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

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