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Vancouver to host regular-season NCAA basketball tournaments beginning in 2017

Vancouver will host two regular-season NCAA Division I basketball tournaments beginning in 2017.

Local officials and event management firm bd Global announced today that the city is set to welcome eight men's and eight women's teams from the U.S. college ranks for back-to-back tournaments to be played each November.

The Vancouver Convention Centre's exhibition space will be transformed into a 3,000-plus seat venue for the events.

"We are very excited to bring the first regular-season NCAA Division I college basketball tournaments ever played in Canada to this extraordinary city," bd Global president and CEO Brooks Downing said in a release.

The U.S.-based company has worked with a number of men's programs in the past, including Kentucky, Duke, Gonzaga and Michigan State, along with Connecticut, Stanford, Baylor and UCLA on the women's side.

The NCAA allows teams to play in any one tournament — known as a multiple-team event — once every four years, meaning that a school participating at the 2017 event in Vancouver wouldn't be eligible to return until 2021.

Teams for the first tournaments will be announced at a later date.

Vancouver played host to a men's NCAA game between Gonzaga and Hawaii in 2011 that attracted more than 9,500 fans to Rogers Arena.

The NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies played six years in the city before moving to Memphis following the 2000-01 campaign.

The Canadian Press

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