Although the Alamodome is 25 years old and doesn't have the bells and whistles of newer sports stadiums in the country, the NCAA couldn't pass up the opportunity to have another Final Four in San Antonio. San Antonio will host the Final Four for a fifth time in 2025, joining Kansas City, Indianapolis, New York, Louisville, New Orleans and Seattle as the only cities to do so.
Houston was among several cities vying for a Final Four appearance between 2023 and 2026.
The NCAA awarded the 2024 Final Four Monday and also granted Houston (2023), San Antonio (2025) and Indianapolis (2026) the right to host college basketball's largest championship event.
"Indianapolis has a long history of setting the standard for NCAA Championships in this city and we look to continue to build on that history when we host the 2026 NCAA Men's Final Four", said IUPUI Athletics Director Rod Perry.
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The NCAA also announced the two tournament hosts following 2024 and the one preceding. It was the first Final Four that took place on the west coast since 1995. We will also host an NCAA Men's Regional in 2020.
"We felt 2018 was the greatest site visit we could give the NCAA and there's risk that things go wrong, but it went extremely well", said Russ Bookbinder, president/CEO of San Antonio Sports. Critics, however, point to events being spread out through the Valley, Uber surge pricing, and the lack of Light Rail, something Glendale nixed again just a year ago.
Plans already are underway by the city for additional improvements to the Alamodome before the next Final Four, Carnes said. "They'll see how that stadium works, and it's a little bit different with open air (University of Phoenix has a roof that was closed during the 2017 Final Four)". From there, Johnson said, staffing for the event will likely come around 2022 while they keep in constant communication for the NCAA. "We want to make that ease of getting out to the stadium as best as they can".
"I think we've got the best hospitality in the world". It will seat 70,000 with expandable seating to 100,000 for mega events.