Phoenix/Glendale bid organizers hope to reel in Final Four

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In the recent history of the Final Four the need to have a large arena, one that’s able to accommodate at least 60,000 fans, has resulted in the event being played in a few select cities. Texas has hosted a pair of Final Fours this century, with Houston doing so in 2011 and Arlington hosting the event last season. Cities such as Indianapolis and New Orleans have become fixtures on the list of Final Four hosts, but the latest round of bidding to host a Final Four has resulted in other locales getting into the act.

One metropolitan area that has joined the bidding process is Phoenix, with the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona being the proposed host. With hopes of getting the opportunity to host a Final Four at some point during the 2017-2020 “rotation,” officials for the region’s organizing committee are hosting members of the Division I men’s basketball committee Tuesday and Wednesday.

And in a story written by Jeff Metcalfe of AZCentral.com, the organizing committee is looking to apply lessons learned from a failed attempt in 2008 to earn the honor of hosting college basketball’s most important event. One lesson: make sure the host school, Arizona State, is more intimately involved with the process of putting together a bid for the Final Four.

“We knew we wanted to bid again, although that was the first question we asked ourselves,” said Dawn Rogers, Arizona State senior associate athletic director. “We talked with (ASU President) Dr. (Michael) Crow to make sure this is something the university wanted to support.”

Crow not only encouraged another bid but wants the nation’s largest university to be a much more active partner than most host institutions.

Changes within the Arizona State system have helped the organizing committee strengthen its bid, with the school’s Phoenix campus better developed now than it was in 2008. As a result, the committee has made greater use of that campus when discussing the possibilities with the men’s basketball committee when it comes to what activities could be hosted Final Four weekend.

Having a Final Four in the Phoenix metropolitan area would bring the Final Four back to the western United States for the first time since 1995, when the since-demolished Kingdome in Seattle played the role of host. With that building gone, University of Phoenix Stadium is essentially the region’s best hope at hosting the Final Four in the near future.

And one would have to imagine that the region’s weather (average temperature of 85 degrees in April) would be a selling point as well.