Minneapolis Bid For Men's Basketball Final Four Using Vikings' Stadium As Selling Point
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton yesterday said that the state will “compete to host” the ‘19 or ‘20 NCAA men's basketball Final Four, according to a front-page piece by Nick Woltman of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. To “spearhead Minnesota's effort,” Dayton named HealthPartners President & CEO Mary Brainerd and Mortenson Construction President David Mortenson co-chairs of the Final Four steering committee, which will be “assigned to make the state's pitch to the NCAA.” Dayton in a statement said, "We plan to pursue this opportunity and the economic benefits that come with it with the same enthusiasm and creativity that secured the 2018 Super Bowl." Woltman notes backers of a Minneapolis Final Four point to the Vikings' new stadium as the “perfect setting" for hosting the event. It is being “built to accommodate 70,000 basketball fans with better sight lines than the Metrodome.” Minnesota in January was “selected as one of eight finalists to host the tournament” in ‘17, ‘18, ‘19 or ‘20. A decision is “expected in November after a site visit by the NCAA.” Dayton said that no state money "is involved in the bid package and no tax law changes are being pursued” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/4). Univ. of Minnesota Exec Associate AD Mike Ellis said that the school has been “involved in the bid from the early stages” and would “act as the host.” He added that events such as the Final Four "bring the type of exposure that can’t be gained anywhere else.” Ellis: “You can’t buy that type of advertising” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/4).