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NCAA games come back to St. Louis for 15th time

By Rachel Lippmann and Anna Vitale

St. Louis – NCAA basketball will be back in St. Louis for the 15th time in 2012.

The college athletic association announced Monday that the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games in the Midwest region will be played at the Edward Jones Dome in 2012. The city is also hosting regional games in 2010.

Predicting the economic impact is difficult without knowing what teams will be playing, said Kitty Radcliffe, the president of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission.

"But in 2007, we had a record attendance in the Edwards Jones Dome, and the estimated impact at that time was over $10 million," she said. St. Louis last hosted regional games in 2007 - it is also hosting them in 2010.

The women played their Final Four here last year, and the men's championship was at the Dome in 2005. The city also applied to host the 2011 Final Four, which contributed to its selection for 2012, said St. Louis University athletic director Chris May. SLU is the host school.

"We had great feedback from that process, and even though we weren't successful at that time we believe that this 2012 regional will again position St. Louis to have a shot at that event," May said.