Colorado Springs, Colorado – The NWBA and Louisville Sports Commission are excited to announce that the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NWBT), presented by ABC Medical, will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, from 2017-2018. The NWBT has been hosted in Louisville from 2013-16. The 2017 tournament will be held from March 29-April 2, and will mark the 10th time that the bluegrass state has hosted the world’s largest single sporting event for athletes with disabilities.
The 2016 NWBA National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical set a new record with 88 teams and 976 athletes across five divisions participating for a coveted national title. The Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) will continue to serve as the competition venue. KEC is also the site of historic Freedom Hall, former home to University of Louisville basketball and host of numerous NCAA Final Fours.
“The Louisville community and event sponsors are very excited to welcome the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s National Tournament back to Louisville,” said Karl Schmitt, Jr., president and CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission. “Having hosted the tournament for the past four years, we’ve seen first-hand how it showcases active lifestyle that is accessible to everyone, regardless of challenges. This event offers local economic benefits, and is a chance for our community to come out and watch world-class athletes in action.”
Louisville has tremendous experience hosting major and international sporting competitions such as the UCI Cyclocross World Championships, Ryder Cup, Breeders’ Cup, PGA Championship, numerous NCAA Championships as well as the National Wheelchair Basketball Association National Tournament. And, as home to the Kentucky Derby for 142 years, it is woven into the fabric of the community to embrace events and visitors from around the world.
With its rich heritage and passion for sports, Louisville is committed to providing an outstanding experience for the athletes, and their families and fans.
“We look forward to continuing to expand our partnership with the Louisville Sports Commission in hosting the NWBT, our premier event,” said Jim Scherr, NWBA Executive Director. “Louisville is a basketball centric location and provides the best platform for the NWBA to showcase all aspects of wheelchair basketball. The Louisville Sports Commission is committed to helping the NWBT reach its full potential.”
The 2017 NWBT presented by ABC Medical will see preliminary games through bronze-medal games over the first three days March 30-April 1, with Championship Sunday featuring final two teams in each division chasing towards the National Title trophy on April 2, 2017.
In 2018, the NWBA will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, scheduled for April 4-8. The NWBA Annual Assembly, NWBA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Operation Rebound events will be held in conjunction with the NWBT.
The Kentucky Expo Center has joined with two local attractions to provide a special offer to NWBA participants and their families. The Louisville Zoo and the Kentucky Derby Museum have partnered to present a "Running Wild" package that allows access in to both attractions at a discount price of $17.50 for children (ages 5-14) and $22.50 for adults.
In addition, Louisville offers other family-friendly attractions including the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Muhammad Ali Center, Belle of Louisville, Frazier History Museum, Louisville Science Center and the Louisville Mega Cavern and Mega Zips.
Local sponsors of the event include Frazier Rehab Institute, KentuckyOne Health, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Louisville Sport Commission and Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation.