SBD/26/Collegiate Sports

NCAA AWARDS 2003-07 FINAL FOUR SITES TO FIVE DOMES

          The NCAA announced sites for the 2003-07 Men's Final
     Fours -- New Orleans (2003), San Antonio (2004), St. Louis
     (2005), Indianapolis (2006) and Atlanta (2007).  The Final
     Fours will be played at the Louisiana Superdome, Alamodome,
     Trans World Dome, RCA Dome and Georgia Dome, respectively
     (NCAA).  In Fort Worth, Wendell Barnhouse reports that the
     men's basketball committee's recommendations must be
     approved by the NCAA's championships committee, "but that is
     basically a rubber stamping process" (STAR-TELEGRAM, 6/26). 
          FIVE STRONG CANDIDATES: In San Antonio, Griffin &
     Williams report that the committee's decision to award five
     Final Fours "was a surprise" because its initial plan was to
     award only the three through 2005.  Bill Hancock, the NCAA's
     Dir of the D-1's men's basketball championships: "Our
     committee had a tough choice and decided they couldn't do
     it" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 6/26).  In St. Louis, Tom
     Wheatley reports that local organizers hoped to prevail in
     2003 or 2004, and privately, some local officials "were
     disappointed at having to wait until 2005."  Convention and
     Visitors Bureau President Bob Bedell said that Final Four
     "means that $45 million will be left here in direct spending
     for the region" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 6/26).

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