Now that March Madness 2019 is officially in the rear-view mirror, future men’s Final Four venues are closer to their turns at the event.
The NCAA currently has the sites selected for Final Fours from 2020-2026, a slate that includes newer facilities and established venues with a track record of welcoming college basketball’s biggest stage.
The 2019 Final Four was played at Minneapolis’s U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, and culminated in Virginia defeating Texas Tech on Monday night. U.S. Bank Stadium opened in 2016 and has since helped draw several major events into downtown Minneapolis—including the 2019 Final Four, and Super Bowl LII in 2018.
A facility that has had a similar impact on its city is next in line to stage the Final Four, as Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium will take its turn at the event in 2020. Opening in 2017, Mercedes-Benz Stadium maintains an active schedule as the full-time home of the NFL’s Flacons and MLS’s United, and staged the most recent Super Bowl.
Multiple Final Fours have been held in Atlanta, though 2020 will mark the first time it is played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The last Final Four in Atlanta took place at the Georgia Dome in 2013.
After being staged in a relatively new venue for the first time, the Final Four will be played at a familiar site in 2021, when it returns to Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Stadium. Built in downtown Indianapolis in 2008 as the successor of the RCA Dome, another frequent Final Four venue, Lucas Oil Stadium has hosted two prior Final Fours. In addition to the 2021 event, it is set to stage the Final Four in 2026.
Another familiar venue is lined up for 2022, when the Final Four heads to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans for the sixth time. This will mark the first Final Four that has been played there since 2012, and the facility could receive some significant updates by the time the 2022 event rolls around, as future renovations are being explored.
In 2023, Houston’s NRG Stadium will have its third turn at the event, and its first since 2016. This will mark the fourth time overall that the Final Four has been played in Houston, as the Astrodome hosted it in 1971 before it returned in 2011 and was staged at NRG Stadium.
The 2024 Final Four will be played out west, with State Farm Stadium in Glendale—home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals—receiving its second Final Four, and first since 2017. Notably, this will mark just the second time the Final Four has taken place in the western part of the United States since 1995, when it was played at Seattle’s Kingdome.
A very familiar Final Four site will be back in the spotlight in 2025, when the event returns to San Antonio’s Alamodome. Starting with its first hosting stint in 1998, the Alamodome has staged four prior Final Fours, with its most recent run coming last year. When the 2025 event is complete, San Antonio will join rare company by hosting its fifth Final Four. The only other cities that can make that claim are Kansas City, Indianapolis, New York, Louisville, New Orleans, and Seattle.
Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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