One of the very first sports casualties to the Capital Region due to the coronavirus pandemic was March Madness at the Times Union Center. When the first and second rounds of the Men's NCAA Tournament on March 19th and 20th of 2020 were canceled many of us wondered if and when another event of that size would return to South Pearl Street in Albany. We have that answer! Four NCAA Championship events are coming to the Times Union Center starting in 2022.

Those four events are the 2022 and 2026 Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Regionals, the 2023 Division I Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds, and the 2024 Division I Women’s Basketball Regionals. For me, knowing that all these amazing events are on the horizon makes me feel like maybe the sports world will return to normal after all. Obviously COVID-19 has had a far bigger impact than just what has happened to the world of sports but as someone who loves the escape and entertainment that sports brings to my life this is huge news and I am so excited!

The Times Union Center press release lays out the importance that NCAA Championship events bring to the Capital Region with comments from Albany County Executive Dan McCoy and GM of the Times Union Center Bob Belber:

“We are thrilled that the Times Union Center has been awarded both Men’s and Women’s Basketball, and Men’s Ice Hockey because it's recognition of the terrific facility it is. We knew the investment we made with all of our renovations coupled with the Capital Region’s love of sports would convince the NCAA to bring these championships here,” said Dan McCoy, Albany County Executive.

“The Times Union Center is honored and excited to be selected to host both Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Men’s Ice Hockey. Having two Championships cancelled this year due to COVID-19, we are thrilled to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Bob Belber, GM of Times Union Center. “We have a great relationship with the NCAA as well as the MAAC, ECAC, Siena College and Union College. We look forward to working with all of them to bring these historic championships back to the Capital Region.”

Here's a list of all the times the NCAA events Albany has and will host:

1992 NCAA Hockey Championships
1994 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional
1995 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball First & Second Round
1996 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey East Regional
1998 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional
2000 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional
2001 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Frozen Four
2002 NCAA Division I Men's Wrestling Championships
2003 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball East Regional
2004 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional
2006 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional
2008 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional
2010 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional
2015 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Regional
2016 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional
2018 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Regional
2019 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Regional
2020 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball First & Second Round *Cancelled due to COVID-19
2020 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional *Cancelled due to COVID-19
2021 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Regional
2022 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional
2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball First & Second Round
2024 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Regional
2026 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional

How many of these events were you at and how many of the four future events do you plan on attending?

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