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Evansville Courier & Press (Indiana)
The NCAA announced Monday that Indianapolis will host the 2026 Men's Basketball Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium. It will be the ninth time the city will host the event, including 2021. The 2026 event will take place April 4 and 6.
The nine Men's Final Fours in Indianapolis would be second only to the 10 hosted in Kansas City. Indianapolis hosted the Men's Final Four in 1980 at Market Square Arena, 1991, '97, 2000 and 2006 at the RCA Dome, and 2010 and '15 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The NCAA also announced that Houston (2023), Phoenix (2024) and San Antonio (2025) will also host Final Fours.
"We're just a great host city from an infrastructure standpoint," Indiana Sports Corp President Ryan Vaughn said. "We've got great hotel partners, great convention center. Unbelievable stadium."
Vaughn also mentioned how great the volunteers were in 2015 and he said that's what makes Indianapolis's bid successful.
"One of the key things that we're always mindful of, especially when you're competing to host an event for the ninth time, is that you never take it for granted," Vaughn said. "You're always trying to add some innovation to the event because we want to be a value add to the event just like we know the event is a value add to the community."
Vaughn said technology will be one major area where they will look to innovate for 2026.
The event will be hosted by the Horizon League and IUPUI. Indianapolis also bid on the 2024 Final Four.
The Final Four is just one of many NCAA Tournament events Indiana will host in upcoming years.
Terre Haute will host the Division I regional for men's and women's cross-country in 2018 and 2020, along with hosting the Division I championships in 2019. Evansville will host the Division 1 regional in 2021 for men's and women's cross country. Bloomington will host the men's and women's track and field Division 1 regional in 2022.
From 2019 to 2021, Indiana will also host NCAA tournament events for women's rowing and golf, men's swimming, golf and lacrosse.
Indianapolis serves as the annual backup site for the Final Four.
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