Friday, September 20, 2013
3-point shot: Best Final Four hosts
By Andy Katz
1. The Final Four is accepting offers for future sites for 2017-20. The deadline for the bids is Oct. 11. Let's clear this up a bit. Indianapolis, host again in 2015 after North Texas in 2014, has a deal with the NCAA that they will host at least every five years through 2039. Indianapolis is a great host city with its proximity between venues and passion for the sport. The plan for a new dome in Atlanta, tentatively scheduled to open in 2017, would put that city back in the mix. New domes are always looking for huge events. If North Texas is a success, then putting the event back in Jerry's World will likely happen. I'm hopeful San Antonio and New Orleans will continue to bid for the event, as both cities have been terrific hosts and are accessible for fans. You need destinations for an event like the Final Four. That's why Houston was not a great host. The Final Four was too spread out at three different locations with nothing happening around the dome itself. Houston somehow got two Final Fours the last time the bids were handed out. Houston hosted in 2011 and will again in 2016. Phoenix/Glendale failed to host the last time around. So it will be interesting to see if they make a play again for the event. The 60,000-seat minimum and 10,000-hotel room minimum will limit some from bidding.
2. Practice starts next Friday in college basketball and teams are looking for creative ways to get fans interested early. Duke will host an open practice next Saturday from 10 to noon. But my favorite is Pitt. The Panthers had a successful late-night event on campus. This time, the Panthers are hosting an event in advance of Pitt playing Virginia in football near Heinz Field. So the morning madness next Saturday at 10:30 a.m. will try to get Panthers fans jazzed. There will be a special guest, though. Check him out here.
3. BYU coach Dave Rose is home and resting after having cancerous spots removed. But he is well enough to host recruits this weekend. If anything, the recruits should see the courage and fight in Rose that should provide quite a sales pitch to play for someone who is going through something much harder than they would ever dream about while playing at BYU. The plan is still for Rose to be ready to go for the start of practice on Oct. 7. The Cougars are choosing to wait a week to start.