STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut will play host to first- and second-round games of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship at the XL Center, managed by Spectra by Comcast Spectacor for the Capital Region Development Authority. Two first-round doubleheaders will take place on Thursday, March 21, 2019 with a second-round doubleheader on Saturday, March 23, 2019.
"This is great news for sports fans in Hartford and all around Connecticut," said UConn Director of Athletics David Benedict. "As we all know, the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship is one of the world's premier sporting events and I am thrilled that it is coming to our home state. All of us at UConn are excited to be working with the XL Center on hosting a first-class tournament."
"The NCAA’s announcement that they are choosing Hartford to host the men’s basketball tournament for the first time in over 20 years is proof positive that our state and our capital city remain attractive destinations for large-scale events like this," said Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy. "Above all, this is exciting news for businesses who will benefit from the increased economic output that a tournament of this size will bring to the region.
“I'm thrilled that March Madness is coming back to Hartford after so many years,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “This is huge news for Connecticut and for Hartford, and we'll be ready to welcome fans from across the country, watch some great basketball, and show off our Capital City. I want to thank the NCAA for choosing Hartford, and we look forward to working closely with them as we get ready to host a great tournament."
"This is an exciting time for Hartford and the entire region," said XL Center General Manager Chris Lawrence. "We look forward to working with UConn, the NCAA and everyone else involved. It's a great opportunity for the city to once again host another prestigious event. It will be an exciting time in the city of Hartford."
The games will mark the return of the tournament to Hartford for the first time in 21 years, as UConn played host to NCAA men's games at the XL Center in 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990 and 1998. There have been a total of 28 NCAA tournament games played in Hartford.
The UConn men's team will not be eligible to play its first- and second-round games in Hartford if they are selected to the 2019 field. Teams are not allowed to play at sites where their institution is serving as a host.