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Final Four coming to Las Vegas

Updated November 22, 2022 - 6:55 pm

Las Vegas landed another major sporting event Tuesday, with the announcement by the NCAA that the 2028 NCAA Men’s Final Four will be played at Allegiant Stadium.

Slated to take place April 1 and 3, 2028, it will mark the first time Las Vegas plays host to the final two rounds of the annual tournament deciding the national college basketball champion.

“We are excited to bring the NCAA’s premier championship to Las Vegas, a city that for a number of years has hosted numerous championships from several member conferences,” said Chris Reynolds, athletics director at Bradley University and the chair of the awarding committee. “The feedback from leagues, the fans of their teams and the media covering the events staged there has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are confident we’ll get the same reviews when the Men’s Final Four is played at Allegiant Stadium.”

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee on Tuesday selected the host sites for the Final Four between 2027 and 2030, with Detroit receiving the 2027 event, Indianapolis being awarded it in 2029 and Arlington, Texas, grabbing the 2030 version.

The Final Four is the latest major event announced to take place at the $2 billion, 65,000 capacity Allegiant Stadium. The NFL Pro Bowl was played there this year and will take place there again in 2023. The Super Bowl is slated to take place at the stadium in February 2024.

“The Raiders are thrilled to welcome the NCAA and college basketball fans from around the world to Las Vegas and our home at Allegiant Stadium,” Sandra Douglass Morgan, president of the Raiders and a member of the Las Vegas NCAA Final Four bid team, said in a statement Tuesday. “Our facility is a state-of-the-art, ideal venue for world-class sporting events.”

UNLV, the only Division I school in Southern Nevada, will serve as the host team for the Final Four. UNLV itself has made the Final Four four times (1977, 1987, 1990 and 1991), with the Runnin’ Rebels winning their lone national championship in 1990.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of hosting the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium,” UNLV Director of Athletics Erick Harper said in a statement. “Our city has been a hub for basketball on all levels for many years and now to welcome one of the premier events in all of sports is a culmination of how Las Vegas has truly become the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World. We look forward to working closely with the LVCVA and the NCAA to put on an amazing event like our city is known for.”

Over the years, Las Vegas has been a longtime favorite locale for fans to take in March Madness at the sportsbooks at various resorts. The city will get its first official men’s tournament action next year when it hosts the West Regionals at T-Mobile Arena in March.

Las Vegas is also set to host eight other NCAA championship events before 2026, including the men’s Division I golf regional next year, the women’s Division I golf regional in 2024 and the college hockey Frozen Four in 2026.

The occasions mark the first time the NCAA has allowed such events in markets where sports gaming occurs after changing its policy in 2019.

Planning for the 2028 Final Four has already begun, which will include volunteer opportunities for both Las Vegas residents and visitors.

“The Final Four is one of the marquee events in sports and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to be the host in 2028,” Steve Hill, CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said in a statement. “The excitement of Final Four basketball combined with the energy of Las Vegas will create an unforgettable experience for teams and fans alike. We can’t wait to welcome the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship to the Greatest Arena on Earth.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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