IRVING, Texas – The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has selected the Big 12 Conference and North Texas to host the 2014 Men’s Final Four, it was announced. The event will take place at the Dallas Cowboys new stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“We are extremely pleased that North Texas has been chosen to host the 2014 Men’s Final Four,” said Big 12 Commissioner DanBeebe. “This is an outstanding opportunity to showcase men’s basketball throughout the region. In addition to the terrific facilitiesavailable, the championship will provide the opportunity to continue to demonstrate our ability to host NCAA events in a first-classmanner. Our goal will be to provide the teams and the fans with the experience of a lifetime.”
Since the Big 12 began competition in 1996-97, the Conference has been selected to host NCAA men’s first/second roundcompetition eight times. The league will host first/second round action once again this year, with games slated for March 19 and 21,2009 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
“The NCAA Final Four is one of the great sporting events in the country,” said Jerry Jones, Owner of the Dallas Cowboys. “Tohave the opportunity to host this spectacle at our new stadium in Arlington is an honor and a privilege. We don’t take lightly theresponsibility the NCAA has bestowed upon us, and we look forward to working with the Big 12 Conference to create the greatestFinal Four ever right here in North Texas.”
The new stadium will have the capacity to seat approximately 93,000 fans. In addition, the stadium’s plaza areas have thepotential to give fans and students unprecedented access to the Final Four games and the surrounding experience. The venue willstage numerous collegiate events in the coming years, including the 2009 and 2010 Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championships. TheCotton Bowl will be played there starting in January 2010, with regular-season college football contests already scheduled in thestadium and the potential that regular-season college basketball could take place there as well.
“This is a great day for Arlington and all of North Texas,” said Arlington Mayor Dr. Robert Cluck. “This has truly been a communitywideendeavor, and seeing those efforts pay off with the awarding of this NCAA Men’s Final Four is something we can all take pridein today. I know that when the nation’s eyes are turned our way in 2014, we will put on the greatest Final Four ever.”
The 2014 Men’s Final Four will mark the first time it has been played in North Texas since the 1986 event was staged at ReunionArena in Dallas. In addition, there have been four more Men’s Final Fours staged in the State of Texas – Houston in 1971 (Astrodome)and San Antonio (Alamodome) in 1998, 2004 and 2008. Houston’s Reliant Stadium will host in 2011. Entering the 2008-09 season,Texas has hosted 149 tournament games overall, fourth nationally among states (North Carolina-215, Missouri-154, New York-154).
Along with the Final Four, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) will have its annual convention in North Texas.The NCAA also stages a “Hoop City” fan festival as part of the event.