Spokane Hosts NCAA Tournament - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Hosts NCAA Tournament

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

When Spokane got the call to host the NCAA tournament this year they jumped at the opportunity.

"We overwhelmingly said yes," says Matt Gibson, General Manager of the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. "We're a big fan of the event, it does well in Spokane."

The tournament was originally going to be held in Sacramento, CA, but the venue didn't have the dates available so the opportunity came to Spokane. It's the tenth time since 2001 that the Lilac City has played host to the NCAA tournament and it always brings excitement.

"People don't normally get to associate with the level of collegiate athletics. This is something special for us," says Gibson. "This year with a Maryland, a Duke, a Tennessee and a Gonzaga, that sort of matchup, men's or women's is just magic in town."

A town that has a lot to offer in the way of recreation for all those out of town visitors.

Cheryl Kilday, President and CEO of Visit Spokane, says that the city is the perfect place to host these types of events because there is no shortage of activities and attractions. There are of course several options for dining, shopping and wine tasting. Spokane also has an ale trail, museums and art attractions.

Probably among the most noteworthy qualities is the way the city engages the river that runs through town. Riverfront Park alone provides, the Spokane Falls, Gondola rides, playgrounds, walking trails, and water features. "The park is awesome this time of year. When you don't live here and it's not something that you get out to see all the time, it really is quite stunning," says Kilday.

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