The annual National Lutheran Basketball Tournament will return to Valparaiso from March 17 to March 20 of this year. The tournament has been taking place at Valparaiso University since the early 1970's and this year will be celebrating their 70th year. Sixty-four middle school boys and girls teams will compete in the 2016 tournament.

"We are thrilled to be returning to Valparaiso for our 70th tournament. Our athletes work hard all year and the national tournament is their time to shine," said Charlie Woest, LBAA President. He continued, "We enjoy coming to VU and northwest Indiana for our tournament, and recently signed a contract to return for the next 10 years."

The tournament draws approximately 2,500 people including athletes, coaches and their families. More than $250,000 will be generated from hotel room nights alone; the estimated economic impact to the region is more than $650,000. At the time of the release, 14 states will be represented by the girls' teams and 12 states for the boys' teams. Athletes and their families will come from as far away as California and Florida.

The entire tournament's hotel rooms are booked using the South Shore CVA's online housing system enabling the South Shore CVA to track each room. The CVA also creates a microsite for participants to use and includes area attractions and restaurants to patronize during their stay. "Thousands of families will be looking for places to eat and things to do between games; we want to make sure our local businesses are prepared for additional customers and the visitors have the information at their fingertips," stated Speros A. Batistatos, FCDME, President/CEO of the South Shore CVA.

For more information on the Lutheran Basketball Tournament, schedules and team information visit: