"We are excited to once again be hosting the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in Providence at the Dunkin' Donuts Center," Providence College Athletics Director Bob Driscoll said. "Providence College has a rich tradition of hosting NCAA events in the City and takes great pride in the fact that we will again serve as the host institution when this incredible event returns to the Ocean State in 2016."
The Dunkin' Donuts Center has a long history of hosting NCAA men's basketball tournament action. In addition to hosting the 2010 First and Second Round games, the Dunkin' Donuts Center hosted the East Regionals in 1975, 1978 and 1985. The First and Second Rounds of the 1986 and 1989 NCAA Men's Tournament also were played at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
The Rhode Island Convention Center Authority purchased the Dunkin' Donuts Center in December 2005 and immediately embarked on a $62 million renovation of the facility, which was completed in 2008. The renovation included the addition of luxury suites, locker room improvements, an expanded lobby and concourse, all new seats in the bowl, a pedestrian link to the Convention Center and a new video scoreboard.
Providence College has long been active in pursuing NCAA Tournament action. Providence College has served as the host school each time NCAA men's basketball tournament has been played in Providence. The College also has served as the host for three Frozen Fours (1986, 1995 and 2000) and two men's ice hockey Regionals (1992 and 2003) at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
"Having the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament back at the Dunk is a true testament to the City of Providence, Providence College and our staff's ability to create an extraordinary event," James Bennett, chairman of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, said. "Our team worked closely with the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitor's Bureau and Providence College to make this happen and we couldn't be more pleased."
"In addition to being a tremendous honor for Rhode Island, this is also an extremely lucrative and prestigious event," John Gibbons, executive director of the Rhode Island Sports Commission, said. "When we last hosted this event in 2010, local hotels, restaurants and other businesses close to the Dunk saw a tremendous increase in business. We also received the kind of extraordinary national media exposure that is invaluable."