INDIANAPOLIS -- Thirteen cities and regions have been named finalists to host future Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Committees announced today. The process to identify the Final Four locations for 2017-2020 will conclude in November 2014 for both championships.
The eight finalists for the Men’s Final Four are Atlanta, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, New Orleans, North Texas, Phoenix/Glendale, San Antonio and St. Louis. Those cities/regions have combined to host 24 previous Men’s Final Fours, and are scheduled to host the next two as well. Indianapolis hosted in 1980, 1991, 1997, 2000, 2006 and 2010, while New Orleans was the host city in 1982, 1987, 1993, 2003 and 2012, and Atlanta was the site in 1977, 2002, 2007 and 2013. San Antonio (1998, 2004 and 2008) and St. Louis (1973, 1978 and 2005) have each hosted three times, while Minneapolis was the host city in 1992 and 2001. The North Texas region has hosted the Men’s Final Four once, with Dallas serving as the 1986 site.
The seven finalist cities under consideration to host a Women’s Final Four during the 2017-20 bid cycle are Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. Of that list, only New Orleans (1991, 2004 and 2013) and Tampa Bay (2008) have hosted previously. Nashville will serve as host of the 2014 Women’s Final Four, while Tampa Bay will host again in 2015. Indianapolis will host the event in 2016.
The 2014 Men’s Final Four will be played in North Texas, while Indianapolis will host in 2015. Houston will host the event in 2016.
“The committee and staff have been thoroughly impressed with the quality of bids, the level of detail and the incredible enthusiasm that the individuals behind each bid have demonstrated thus far in the process,” said Dan Gavitt, the NCAA vice president for men’s basketball. “The Men’s Final Four has grown into one of the biggest and best sporting events in the world, so it’s easy to understand why these cities would put their best foot forward in attempt to secure a bid. We fully expect the remainder of the bid process to be competitive, and while it’s obvious that there are difficult decisions ahead, we also know that based on what we have seen so far from these prospective hosts, we are going to have great Final Fours in the coming years.”
“The amount of interest for the Women’s Final Four was considerable, making it extremely difficult for the committee to narrow the focus to the seven cities making the finalist list,” said Anucha Browne, NCAA vice president for women’s basketball. “As America’s marquee women’s sporting event, these cities understand the importance of the Women’s Final Four and will work to make it shine in their respective communities.”
Completed bids are due in May, with the respective committees and staffs spending the summer reviewing each bid before making site visits to each finalist city in August, September and October. Representatives from each finalist city will make in-person presentations to the respective committees during their annual fall meetings in early November 2014 in Indianapolis, followed by the announcement of the winning bids later that month.
The preliminary rounds for the 2016-18 men’s basketball tournaments will also be announced in November.
Prospective Final Four bid cities had until mid-October to submit a declaration of intent to bid, a draft budget, hotel rates and confirmation of adherence to the NCAA’s bid specifications by mid-November. The men’s and women’s basketball staffs and select committee members met with representatives of each city’s host committee
last month and updated the men’s and women’s basketball committees at meetings in San Diego earlier this month. When evaluating prospective hosts, the committee will review each city’s competition venue, transportation and lodging, and the region’s overall commitment to the event. For the Men’s Final Four, venues must hold a minimum of 60,000 fans, and host cities or regions must be able to provide at least 10,000 full-service hotel rooms within reasonable proximity to the competition venue. For the Women’s Final Four, venues must hold a minimum of 18,000 fans.