The city of Tulsa will host first- and second-round games of the 2017 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament beginning Friday. It will be the second time in six years that Tulsa has been part of March Madness, and that is no coincidence.

It takes a lot of work, done years in advance of tipoff, to even be considered as a host city. And you better have a great arena. And it better have more than great seating and great concessions.

As Vince Trinidad, executive director of the Tulsa Sports Commission, explains, what arenas offer in the “back of the house” matters even more than what fans see. So we’ve brought Jeff Nickler, general manager of the BOK Center, along to explain what his team has done to prepare for the onslaught of media, fans and players.

It all begins Thursday with free admission to team practices. For more information about the schedule of games, or to purchase tickets, go to

Jeff Nickler, left, and Vince Trinidad join us this week to discuss what it takes for a city to be selected to host March Madness games. Nickler is general manager of the BOK Center, and Trinidad is executive director of Tulsa Sports Commission. KEVIN CANFIELD/The Frontier