The NCAA has announced more than 600 host sites for preliminary rounds and finals of championship events from the 2017–2018 season through the 2021–2022 season across Divisions I, II and III.
More than 3,000 bids were submitted for the events, which for the second time in the association’s history were awarded all at one time. In all, host cities were named for 84 of the NCAA’s 90 championships, with a total of 613 sites being selected for those events. Of the six events not included, five already had existing contracts for hosts: Division I baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field (tallied as two separate championships), and the Football Championship Subdivision. The sixth championship, Division III women’s ice hockey, does not select predetermined sites. The NCAA has also previously named the host cities for the Men’s Final Four through 2022 and the Women’s Final Four through 2020, although opening and regional hosts for those tournaments were included in the latest announcements.
The breakdown includes a wide geographic range, with 43 states selected. Pennsylvania landed the most events with 53, while Pittsburgh received the most of any city, being awarded 22 preliminary rounds and finals. Destinations in Florida received the next highest number of events, with 51, while Indiana was third with 41 events.
Of note, several cities in North Carolina were on the list after the NCAA “reluctantly” lifted a ban on events there earlier this month following the revision of the state’s House Bill 2 that limited rights of transgendered people. Greensboro, for example, received first- and second-round men’s basketball games in 2020 at the Greensboro Coliseum, the first time since 2012 that tournament games will have been played in that venue. Raleigh, meanwhile, received first- and second-round games in 2021.
Also of note are several cities that have not hosted rounds of the men’s basketball tournament in decades. In 2019, the tournament will make a stop in Columbia, South Carolina, which has not hosted since 1970, and Hartford, Connecticut, which last hosted in 1998. In 2022, San Francisco will host for the first time since 1960, Fort Worth, Texas, will host for the first time since 1970, and Cincinnati will host for the first time in 30 years.
“We want to thank everyone who submitted a bid for this cycle of championship site selections and for their continued commitment during the process,” said Joni Comstock, NCAA senior vice-president of championships. “We look forward to working with our membership, the cities and local organizing committees who may host for the first time, as well as the groups who will repeat as host sites. I also want to acknowledge and thank the sports committees that reviewed these exceptional bids and made the selections based on providing the best possible experience for our student-athletes, coaches and spectators.”