Thinking forward to Fort Wayne

Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Since we started this site in 1997, we’ve described the journey to the Division III men’s basketball national championship as the Road to Salem. Salem, Virginia has hosted every Division III men’s basketball title game but one since 1996 but it will only host one more going forward, at least for now.

In April the NCAA announced that the Division III men’s national championship weekend will move from Salem, Virginia to Fort Wayne, Indiana for four seasons starting in 2018-19. The winning bid that will bring the Division title game to the Hoosier State was submitted by a team including Manchester University and the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

The Coliseum played an important role in the NCAA’s decision to move the national title game. NCAA Senior Vice-President of Championships wrote in a statement, “Regarding Division III championships, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and the City of Salem have certainly set the standard for the experience of everyone involved at NCAA Championships from the student-athletes and coaches to the spectators. In this round of site selections, the committees felt that there were bids from cities with facilities that took the championships to the next level that they just couldn’t overlook.”

Dave McHugh gave his thoughts on the move from the perspective of leaving Salem but we didn’t want to overlook Fort Wayne’s winning bid either. So last week we spoke with the Coliseum’s Vice-President for Sales Nathan Dennison about why they were interested in hosting Division III basketball’s biggest games, what makes the Allen County War Memorial an attractive venue and how he plans to tap into Hoosier pride to fill the stands starting in 2019.