The NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City made a positive lasting impression on the sporting world in 2002 by hosting the XIX Olympic Winter Games. The city has another opportunity to woo sports fans by hosting a different types of event this year.
On April 18, 2017, the NCCA made an announcement proclaiming the University of Utah would host the first and second round games of the 2019 Men’s Basketball Tournament. After an extensive renovation project, Vivint Smart Home Arena is poised to host the first two rounds of the tourney on Thursday March 21 and Saturday March 23.
Salt Lake City has hosted several NCAA men’s basketball events, including the historical 1979 National Championship game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Indiana State Sycamores. The 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament marks the 40th anniversary of the dream matchup between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, both of which went on to become legends of the NBA.
NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena
As the home venue for the NBA’s Utah Jazz, Vivint Smart Home Arena has seating capacity for more than 18,000 NCAA tourney fans. With 56 luxury suites and 668 club seats, the arena offers large groups plenty of privacy to celebrate watching one of the most revered sporting events in the world.
Last held in Salt Lake City in 2013, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament returns to a venue that has hosted the first and second round games three other times. Vivint Smart Home Arena also hosted the NCAA West Regionals in 2010. Previously named the Salt Lake Ice Center, the arena hosted the figure skating and short track speed skating events held at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
After the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional, Vivint Smart home Arena underwent a comprehensive renovation that included the construction of a children’s playground called Bear’s Backyard. Three years later, under the supervision of Utah Jazz officials, the arena unveiled a state of the art scoreboard, as well as monitors placed throughout the arena that operate on ribbon display technology.
Things to Do in Salt Lake City During the NCAA Tournament
With picturesque winter landscapes, Salt Lake City is considered by many winter sports experts to be the skiing capital of the United States. Although you should see snow capped mountain peaks when you visit the city in late March of 2019, you do not need to drive or even walk far to enjoy famed cultural and historical attractions.
Rent a mountain bike for a spin on the scenic Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Salt Lake City features numerous bicycle shops that rent mountain bikes out for daily excursions around the city and into the wilderness areas located beneath the mountains. If the weather does not cooperate for outdoor activities, spend some time at The Natural History Museum of Utah. Thousands of rare artifacts sit on shelves and hang on walls depicting the colorful history of one of the most influential cities that tamed the Wild West. Several hilly trails meander through Hogle Zoo to give you a workout and a glimpse into the natural habitats of a diverse group of wildlife species.
March Madness 2019 Early Round Round Sites
The first and second round games for this year’s NCAA Tournament are taking place in eight exciting U.S. cities. To shop tickets in each of these locations, follow the links below.