Atlanta, which last hosted the Final Four in 2013, is seeking to host the event in 2018, 2019 or 2020.
Photo: Kevin C. Cox
Photo: Kevin C. Cox

NCAA will decide on Atlanta’s Final Four bid Friday

Will college basketball’s Final Four be played in the new Falcons stadium by 2020? The NCAA will answer that question Friday.

The NCAA men’s basketball committee has met this week with groups representing the eight cities bidding to host the Final Four in 2017 through 2020 and plans to reveal the four winning bidders between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Atlanta is seeking to host the event in 2018, 2019 or 2020 in the retractable-roof stadium that is slated to open downtown in 2017.

Other bidders include the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium, which hosted this year’s Final Four, and the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, which is slated to open in 2016. Also bidding: Indianapolis, New Orleans, San Antonio, St. Louis and Glendale, Ariz.

The Atlanta bid group includes representatives of the Atlanta Sports Council, the Falcons, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Georgia Tech and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.

“We are extremely proud of the bid that our group submitted,” Sports Council executive director Dan Corso said Thursday. “We are excited at the possibility of Atlanta hosting a fifth NCAA men’s Final Four, which would be a tremendous accomplishment for the region and state. Everyone looks forward to hearing the selections tomorrow.”

The NCAA said it will make the announcement live on CBS Sports Network’s “Inside College Basketball” show.

Atlanta hosted the men’s Final Four in 2013, 2007 and 2002 at the Georgia Dome, which will be demolished when the new Falcons stadium is completed, and in 1977 at the Omni, which was Philips Arena’s predecessor.

The NCAA began the site-selection process for the 2017-2020 Final Fours last year. NCAA representatives visited Atlanta in August to learn about the new stadium and other aspects of the city’s bid.

The Atlanta bid group was in Indianapolis on Tuesday for a final presentation to NCAA officials. Three other cities also made presentations Tuesday, followed by the other four candidates Wednesday.

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