CLEVELAND – The tradition of MAC Madness in downtown Cleveland during the month of March will remain on Northeast Ohio's sports calendar for years to come. The Mid-American Conference (MAC) and Quicken Loans Arena have agreed to a six-year contract extension to host the MAC Men's and Women's Basketball Conference Tournament at The Q through 2023. The current agreement runs through 2017.
The announcement was made by MAC Commissioner, Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, and Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena CEO, Len Komoroski during a press conference held at Quicken Loans Arena.
Each year the MAC Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament brings eight men's and eight women's teams to Cleveland for a four-day single elimination tournament.
"The Mid-American Conference is pleased to extend its partnership with Quicken Loans Arena and the Cleveland Cavaliers to host our Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament through 2023," said Steinbrecher. "This six-year contract extension provides our student-athletes and our fans the finest basketball facility in the country for our conference basketball tournament. The entire Quicken Loans Arena and Cavaliers staff have been extremely supportive to and work collaboratively with the Conference staff to ensure our membership and student-athletes have a tremendous experience.
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Quicken Loans Arena has served as the host venue for the MAC Men's Basketball Tournament since 2000 and the MAC Women's Basketball Tournament since 2001, and is the second longest running neutral site men's tournament in the nation.
"Over the past 15 years, the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization has had a very special relationship with the MAC in helping to grow this event into a successful Cleveland tradition," said Komoroski. "We are very proud to continue to be able to host a world-class tournament experience and environment for the fans and the participating teams. The energy and fun that MAC Madness generates inside The Q also impacts and extends the excitement outside of the arena in many ways for our surrounding downtown community. That is something that we can also be proud of and thankful for as we celebrate this great partnership."
Based on a study conducted by Kent State University in 2013, it is estimated that the MAC Basketball Tournament generates over $14 million in economic impact for the city of Cleveland annually.
"The MAC Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena has become a valued and impactful Cleveland tradition," said Gilbert. "The event produces tens of millions of dollars in economic activity and exposes our region's assets and strengths to thousands of basketball fans from around the Midwest each year. This contract extension means Cleveland will continue to reap the benefits of the MAC Tournament for many years to come."
The 2015 MAC Men's & Women's Basketball Tournament will come to Quicken Loans Arena March 11-14. The four-day tournament showcases the best of the best in men's and women's college basketball with second round matchups on Wednesday, March 11th, third round games on Thursday, March 12th and semifinals on Friday, March 13th. Three days will feature two afternoon women's games and two evening men's contests. The men's and women's championship games will be played on Saturday, March 14th.
In addition, the MAC will serve as the host for the upcoming 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Midwest Regional (March 25-28) and was recently awarded the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships as both events will take place at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.