There’s no pulling the Final Four out of a dome.
It’d be nice to get basketball played in a venue that’s, you know, built for basketball, but given the popularity of the sport and the fact that bringing in 70,000-plus people for college basketball’s final weekend isn’t a problem, cutting 75% of the available seats at the game just isn’t going to happen.
Tickets in the nosebleeds were going for $350 a pop for this year’s title game. Four seats together in section 122 were $1,000 each. If there’s that much demand, do you really think the NCAA is going to take a chainsaw to the supply?
There is some good news to report regarding domes, however: according to Andy Katz of ESPN.com, there will be no more Elite 8 or Sweet 16 games played anywhere other than an arena:
Mark Lewis, the NCAA’s vice president in charge of championships, said using domes for regionals was a trial run for future Final Fours. But the upcoming Final Four sites have already had the dry run, so the NCAA doesn’t need to do this anymore. Lewis said regional finals should be in arenas, and that will be the plan going forward.
While they were able to pack the Georgia Dome for the Final Four, the regional finals in places like Cowboys Stadium and Lucas Oil Stadium were played in empty, sterile environments.
I can begrudgingly accept that college basketball’s biggest games need to be played on the biggest stage, but getting all non-Final Four tournament games out of domes is a good move.
(It’s worth noting here that most believe that the Carrier Dome will be an exception to the rule here. It’s not a Final Four venue. It’s an on-campus dome that hosts college basketball games with regularity.)
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.