The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced this afternoon that the new Vikings stadium will host the Men's Basketball Final Four in 2019. The games, slated to take place in April 2019, are the second major event awarded to the new stadium since its design was unveiled on May 13, 2013.
"We are thrilled to bring the NCAA Men's Final Four back to Minnesota," said David Mortenson, president of Mortenson Construction and bid committee co-chair. "We were successful in impressing upon the committee our three main messages of connected, easily accessible city, world-class venues and committed community."
"Prior to breaking ground for our new multi-purpose stadium, the NCAA selected Minnesota to submit a bid for the Men's Final Four," said Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. "The new stadium and adjacent two-block park that is being developed are incredible assets that will offer amazing fan experiences. The Men's Final Four is one of the most prestigious events in the country, and we are proud to have it in Minnesota."
Minnesota and seven other locations were selected in January as finalists for the 2017-2020 Final Fours. The Minnesota Final Four Bid Committee hosted a site visit with NCAA officials in August before delivering their "Winning Happens Here" presentation on November 11, 2014.
The stadium's 65,400-seat capacity will expand to more 72,000 for the Final Four. More than 2,400 high-definition screens throughout the stadium will allow fans every opportunity to watch the contests.
"Strong public-private collaboration, along with an outstanding stadium design, has allowed Minnesota to already secure two of the world's largest sporting events, both of which will offer unique opportunities to showcase this region on a national and international stage," said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. "On behalf of the Vikings, congratulations to Minnesota's Final Four Steering Committee on its successful bid."
The 2019 Final Four will mark the third time that Minnesota has hosted the Final Four. The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome hosted the event in 1992 and 2001.
The new stadium, which broke ground on December 3, 2013, will open in July 2016.
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