By Barry Janoff
April 18, 2017: NCAA March Madness basketball is staying in Dayton and, in a much more controversial decision, returning to North Carolina.
Those were among the biggest take-aways from the NCAA, which today (April 18) named more than 600 host sites for preliminary rounds and finals of predetermined championships in Divisions I, II and III to be held from 2017-18 through 2021-22.
The NCAA said it received more than 3,000 bid submissions from NCAA member schools, conferences, sports commissions and cities vying to host predetermined rounds for 84 of the NCAA’s 90 championships. A total of 613 sites were awarded for this cycle.
There were 43 states selected to host at least one round of an NCAA championship between 2019-22.
Pennsylvania leads with a total of 53, followed by Florida (51) and Indiana (41).
Pittsburgh was awarded 22 preliminary rounds and finals, the most of any city, according to the NCAA.
In November, the NCAA revealed that New Orleans would host the Men’s Basketball Div. I Final Four.
Between now and 2022, upcoming Men’s Div. I Final Four sites will be:
• March 31/April 2, 2018 Alamodome, San Antonio
• April 6/8, 2019 U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
• April 4/6, 2020 Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
• April 3/5, 2021 Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
• April 2/4, 2022 Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Between now and 2020 upcoming Women’s Div. I Final Four sites are:
• March 30/April 1, 2018 Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
• April 5/7, 2019 Amalie Arena, Tampa
• April 3/5, 2020 Smoothie King Center, New Orleans
Although the NCAA said that other venues had applied, the University of Dayton would continue to host the First Four through 2022, having hosted all previous games since the inception of the play-in game in 2001, which was the forerunner to the First Four that began in 2011.
The NCAA is scheduled to return to North Carolina in 2018 after pulling out of the state due to the HB2 situation.
"Working with our valued host institutions and conferences, as well as sports commissions and cities, to create a great atmosphere for student-athletes, coaches and fans with the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments is our goal every year,” Dan Gavitt, NCAA svp-basketball," said in a statement. "We’re looking forward to working with the groups that earned preliminary-round basketball sites, as well as the local organizing committees already slated to host NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours."
Lawmakers in the state have amended the original bill but opponents say the changes are far from acceptable.
According to a statement from James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, "When the NCAA originally withdrew events from North Carolina, they did so because they claimed to care about 'fairness and inclusion' for college athletes and fans. It’s a shame to see that those concerns have already fallen by the wayside."
Sarah Gillooly, policy director for the ACLU of North Carolina, reinforced that in a statement.
"We have yet to see any evidence showing how the NCAA can ensure basic nondiscrimination protections for these events," she said. "And that’s because a nondiscriminatory environment can’t exist in a state where official policy singles out transgender people and perpetuates the notion that they should not participate fully in public life."
"We have yet to see any evidence showing how the NCAA can ensure basic nondiscrimination protections for these events."
The NBA also said it would consider North Carolina as a future host for its All-Star Games after moving the 2017 game from Charlotte to New Orleans due to the HB2 controversy.
“This is not an easy decision," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this month. "The most recent change in the law does not mean the fundamental issues are resolved. But after considering all points of view, we concluded that Charlotte will be eligible to host the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.
"When Charlotte resubmits its application, we will need to ensure that our events can proceed with open access and anti-discrimination policies, and that we can extend those policies to the venues, hotels and businesses that we would work with during All-Star," according to Silver.
The NCAA said that criteria for selecting the host sites included "creating what will be an exceptional experience for the student-athletes, along with adherence to NCAA bid specifications.
"Specifications can include, but are not limited to, providing optimal facilities; ease of travel to the location and ample lodging; and adherence to NCAA principles, which include providing an atmosphere that is safe and respects the dignity of all attendees," according to the NCAA.
Full list of NCAA Div. I Host Cities 2019-22
NCAA Names New Orleans As ’22 Final Four Host
Back to Home Page