JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- March Madness is returning to Jacksonville.
Mayor Alvin Brown announced today second and third round action for the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship will be played in Jacksonville.
"March Madness will draw investment and attention on our great city," said Mayor Brown. "Hosting the NCAA tournament continues the momentum we have experienced in making our city a great destination for sports and entertainment."
Past NCAA tournament events in Jacksonville have generated an estimated economic impact of $12 million.
Jacksonville University, Brown's alma mater, will serve as the host institution. JU also served as host in 2006 when the Florida Gators won its first of back-to-back national titles; and again in 2010 when Duke began its run to a national title.
The fan experiences from previous NCAA basketball events and the new scoreboard at Veterans Memorial Arena helped Jacksonville land the championship basketball games.
"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 onto the scene in recent years and have embraced this tournament."