Where is the 2023 NCAA Final Four?
As we prepare for the NCAA’s Final Four, we’re taking a look at the college basketball’s premier tournament and of course the city in which the semifinals will be hosted.
The Final Four is fast approaching and as anticipation builds among college basketball fans, so too does fervor increase in the city where the NCAA’s big event will be held. If you didn’t know, Houston is set to host and the Texans’ home stadium is the place to be. With no further ado, let’s take a look
The origins of NCAA’s basketball tournament
When the men’s college basketball NCAA Tournament began in 1939, it didn’t look exactly the same as it does today. Indeed, March Madness only started including 64 teams in the bracket as of 1985. As we now know that number was increased to 68 with the introduction of the First Four in 2011. Today, there are 351 schools included in Division I, however, only 91 of those college basketball programs have made it to the Final Four. Needless to say, the road there is a long and arduous one, but rest assured whether you win the title or not, by simply making the Final Four, your name has been written on the pages of college basketball history.
Houston hosts its fourth Final Four
When the Final Four tips off on Saturday 1st, April, it will be NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas that plays host to the big event. Home to NFL’s Houston Texans, as well as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo which only concluded days ago, this will undoubtedly be a big boost for a city which has previously hosted the tournament on three other occasions.
“When you can have four different teams that will be here, four different alumni bases, a huge audience of the media will be here. If you’re in our business, it’s a really exciting time,” said Michael Heckman, President and CEO for Houston First Corporation. “From police to fire to security, we put on big events really, really well. Over the last 20 years, since Super Bowl XXXVIII was held here in 2004, we have built that pedigree of just a really great big event town.”
A bit about NRG Stadium
Formerly called Reliant Stadium, the multi-purpose stadium was completed in 2002 at a cost of $352 million. Today, it boasts a seating capacity of 72,220 and was actually the first NFL facility to utilize a retractable roof. As mentioned before, it is the home of the Houston Texans as well as the go to venue for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, but it’s also been frequently used by both the United States men’s national soccer team, as well as Mexico’s national soccer team for friendlies. To that end, the stadium has been selected as one of the host venues for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be hosted by the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico.