Minnesota Selected to Host NCAA® Men's Final Four® in 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MINNESOTA SELECTED TO HOST NCAA® MENS FINAL FOUR® IN 2019

MINNEAPOLIS (NOV. 14, 2014) The National Collegiate Athletic Association® (NCAA) announced today that Minnesota was selected to host the Mens Final Four® in 2019. The March/April 2019 tournament will be held in the new Minnesota Stadium, which is set to open in 2016. The Minnesota Final Four Bid Committee delivered the successful presentation to a NCAA committee in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Nov. 11. The central theme was Winning Happens Here.

We are thrilled to bring the NCAA Mens Final Four back to Minnesota, said David Mortenson, president of Mortenson Construction and bid committee co-chair. We were successful in impressing upon the committee our three main messages of our connected, easily accessible city, world-class venues and committed community.

The NCAA Mens Final Four is one of the nations most-watched collegiate tournaments, and all eyes will be on Minnesota in 2019, said Mary Brainerd, president and chief executive officer of HealthPartners, Inc., and bid committee co-chair. Our commitment as a community to delivering an exceptional experience for players, families and fans who attend the Final Four was a focus for the presentation. We are confident that our vibrant downtown, exceptional new stadium and welcoming spirit of the people of Minnesota will make for an outstanding event, and the NCAA agreed.

Since the very first intercollegiate basketball game, which was held at Hamline University in 1895, Minnesota has a proud history of collegiate sports, said Norwood Teague, director of athletics, University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota is honored to be a part of this community partnership that is bringing the NCAA Mens Final Four back to Minnesota in 2019.

The game will be held in the new Minnesota Stadium, currently under construction in downtown Minneapolis, which will open in July 2016. The stadium, which typically will seat 65,400, will be expandable to more than 72,000 seats for the NCAA Mens Final Four. Over 34,000 seats -- about half of the total seats -- are in the lower bowl. Fans will have fantastic sight-lines to the court from anywhere in the stadium. Additionally, 2,400 high-definition screens will ensure fans will never miss a moment of the action.

Prior to breaking ground for our new multi-purpose stadium, the NCAA selected Minnesota to submit a bid for the Mens Final Four, said Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. The new stadium and adjacent two-block park that is being developed are incredible assets that will offer amazing fan experiences. The Mens Final Four is one of the most prestigious events in the country, and we are proud to have it in Minnesota.

Minneapolis new and existing hospitality infrastructure, such as transportation assets, skyway system, hotels and other exceptional venues like the Minneapolis Convention Center, were also important to the bid success.

Our key message of offering the NCAA a compact, urban experience for this premiere event clearly resonated with the decision makers, said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO, Meet Minneapolis. Additionally, the support of our Meet Minneapolis team in working with our tourism and hospitality partners helped us exceed expectations on this bid. We are honored and humbled to be able to renew our Mens Final Four partnership with the NCAA.

POTENTIAL ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE TOURNAMENT
The Minnesota Final Four Bid Committee is working to assess the potential economic impact the tournament could have in Minnesota. The Final Four tournament brings a large economic impact to the host community. Reviewing the economic impact on other host communities over the last four years, the estimates are between $70 million to $200 million. Atlanta Convention and Business Bureau reported an estimated $70 million impact in 2013. New Orleans projected an impact of $135 million in 2012 and Dallas projected an impact of $275 million in 2014. Multiple events associated with the tournament are held throughout the region.

ABOUT MINNESOTAS BID FOR THE NCAA FINAL FOUR TOURNAMENT
Minnesota was named a finalist in January 2014 along with Atlanta, Indianapolis, New Orleans, North Texas, Phoenix, San Antonio and St. Louis for the 2017-2020 tournaments. Bid documents were submitted to the NCAA on May 9 and a site visit by the NCAA committee was conducted in August.

The last NCAA Final Four mens basketball tournament in Minnesota was held in 2001 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Minnesota also hosted the tournament there in 1992.

Visit www.minneapolis.org/minnesota-final-four to view events happening in the city as well as parking and transit information.

For more information, please contact:

Meet Minneapolis Communications Manager Kristen Montag at 612.767.8038

MSFA Director of Communications Jenn Hathaway at 612.335.3308