Bid specifications were made available today for prospective hosts of the preliminary rounds of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Division I men’s basketball championships, with the selection announcement for the First Four, second- and third-rounds and regional sites scheduled for November.
Hosts from NCAA Division I institutions or conferences have until August 6 to submit their bid materials. The NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee and staff will analyze the bids and, if necessary, conduct site visits in September and October.
The committee will use evaluation criteria when selecting the sites and the hosts for the championship rounds including lodging options, airline service, previous history hosting NCAA championships and attendance potential. Each city must have an adequate number of full service hotel rooms within reasonable proximity to the competition venue, with the most competitive rates to accommodate teams, officials and the media. The cities must have appropriate airline service, with consideration given to sites with the highest frequency of daily arrivals and departures.
The committee will consider attendance figures, net receipts and the host’s financial management from previous championships, and consideration may be given to a host or venue that has not hosted the tournament most recently. Host facilities must hold a minimum of 10,000 fans in order to be considered. Newly-constructed venues must be fully operational by May 2015 in order to host the 2016 championship, and by November 2015 to be eligible to host the 2017 or 2018 championships.
As the national tournament to determine the NCAA Division I men’s basketball champion, sites will continue to be selected regionally across the country. Two sites from the East, South, Midwest and West regions will be chosen to host second- and third-round games, while one host from each region will be selected to host Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games.
“The tournament continues to be one of the world’s most popular sporting events, so we anticipate dozens of cities bidding for the right to play a central role in March Madness,” NCAA vice president for men’s basketball Dan Gavitt said. “The site selection process is competitive, and we expect to get interest from cities with a long history of hosting the event, as well as others who want local college basketball fans to experience what it’s like to have the tournament come to their communities.”
The preliminary rounds site selection announcement coincides with the Final Four site selection process, which concludes in November with the unveiling of the sites for the 2017-2020 Final Fours. Eight finalists -- Atlanta, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, New Orleans, North Texas, Phoenix, San Antonio and St. Louis – were named in January.