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St. Louis To Get A Piece Of March Madness Action Again

The program is credited with helping St. Louis land the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament next March at Scottrade Center.
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The MVC men's basketball tournament and NCAA wrestling championships will be held at the Scottrade Center.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. with numbers from the Missouri Valley tournament.

For the 20th time in tournament history, and the seventh time since 2000, a St. Louis sports venue will host games of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

The association announced today that the Scottrade Center will be the site of second and third-round games in 2014. The city has seen a slew of regional games, most recently in 2012 and the Final Four was here in 1973, 1978 and 2005.

"As I say every time we make an announcement like this, it never gets old," said Frank Viverito, the chair of the St. Louis Sports Commission, which submitted the bid. "It's wonderful that St. Louis will be welcoming eight teams and their fans to St. Louis for six games just 16 months from now."

The Missouri Valley Conference, which is headquartered here in St. Louis, will be the host of the games. And not wanting to be left out of the basketball fun, the conference's associate commission, Jack Watkins, announced that its men's tournament would remain at Scottrade until 2015, while the women's tournament will be played at the St. Charles Family Arena through 2014.

"Quite honestly, this is a clear illustration of the Missouri Valley Conference commitment to the greater metropolitan St. Louis community," Watkins said.

The St. Louis Convention and Visitor's Commission says in 2002, opening rounds of the NCAA tournament generated almost $5 million in direct spending. Conference officials say the Missouri Valley men's tournament results in about $9 million of direct spending; numbers were not available for the women's tournament.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.