SAN ANTONIO — The 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four in San Antonio has a colorful identity. The official logo for the NCAA championship was unveiled Thursday by the NCAA and San Antonio Local Organizing Committee before 1,100 elementary students, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, City Manager Sheryl Sculley and other supporters at Mission Concepción Sports Park.
The logo unveiling kicks off 18 months of preparation as SALOC gets ready to host San Antonio’s fourth Men’s Final Four in the Alamodome. The championship from March 29 to April 2, 2018, has been named an official event of the city’s 2018 Tricentennial Celebration.
“The Alamo City has been truly blessed by the partnership formed with the NCAA,” said Pat Frost, SALOC chair. “Its basketball championships have brought millions of dollars to our community, helped our city shine in the national spotlight and provided countless opportunities for our youth to reap the benefits of hosting a Final Four.”
Noting 2018 will mark 10 years since the last time the event was in San Antonio, officials highlighted many venue enhancements to the Alamodome, the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and Hemisfair Park that will be showcased to Final Four visitors.
Other SALOC members who joined Frost included Jenny Carnes, SALOC executive director; Mike Sawaya, executive director of San Antonio’s Convention and Sports Facilities Department; Nick Langella, general manager of the Alamodome; Casandra Matej, executive director of Visit San Antonio; Russ Bookbinder, president and CEO of San Antonio Sports; and Lynn Hickey, director of athletics at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men’s basketball, and Bruce Rasmussen, director of athletics at Creighton University and chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee for the 2017-18 season, were also in attendance.
“We are very excited to have the Final Four back in our city and are honored UTSA is designated as the host institution for the tournament,” Hickey said. “UTSA has had the great opportunity to be a part of 17 NCAA championship events since 1997, and we take great pride in our work with the NCAA and the visiting teams. We are proud to be a part of SALOC, which is a very efficient and experienced hosting group, and we look forward to showcasing our wonderful destination city and delivering an exceptional experience for the teams and their fans.”
San Antonio Sports announced its “i play! afterschool” program will add basketball to its curriculum as a legacy of the 2018 Final Four. More than 1,100 children from the program’s 45 elementary schools in the San Antonio and Harlandale school districts donned T-shirts featuring the new Final Four logo as it was revealed.
“Today’s logo unveiling for the 2018 Final Four is another reminder for the incredible level of enthusiasm this community has for the event,” Gavitt said. “To see all of those children come out for the logo unveiling gives our staff a tremendous amount of satisfaction because it’s evident that the Final Four has such a lasting impact on the host city. We’re excited to bring the Final Four back to San Antonio, and we’re grateful to the people of this beautiful city for the effort they put forth to make the games, the ancillary events and community initiatives so memorable for all those involved.”
Carnes said SALOC will seek more than 3,500 volunteers to help stage the 2018 Men’s Final Four and invited those interested to learn more at ncaafinalfoursanantonio.com.