Indianapolis will be the headquarters for March Madness in 2021.
The NCAA announced Monday that Indianapolis will host the entire men’s basketball tournament from 2021. Ball State, Butler, the Horizon League, Indiana, Indiana University and Purdue University in Indianapolis and Purdue will host the tournament and provide their staff and facilities to support the tournament. The Indiana Convention Center is used as a practice facility.
“This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert in a statement. “We have worked tirelessly to redefine a tournament structure that will retain our unique championship opportunity for college athletes. The reality of today’s announcement was made possible thanks to the tremendous leadership of our members, local authorities and staff. “
Adaptation to the pandemic
After the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA officials re-presented the 2021 tournament and adapted it to the COVID-19 landscape. They decided it would be safer to have the entire tournament in one geographic area rather than numerous cities, and announced in mid-November that they would be in talks with the city of Indianapolis to host. Indy had already agreed to host the 2021 Final Four, but will now host the entire 68-team tournament.
It has been reported that the NCAA will create a bubble in Indianapolis, but that was not part of Monday’s announcement. However, the NCAA announced that all teams will be staying at a hotel that is “in a controlled environment” and is connected to the Indiana Convention Center by a skywalk. The NCAA will also provide “safe transportation” to and from the venues.
The NCAA announced in December that the 2021 women’s basketball tournament would also take place in just one city. The NCAA is in talks with the city of San Antonio, which is hosting the Women’s Final Four, to host the entire tournament. However, no official announcement was made.
The story goes on
Indianapolis prepares to invade March Madness. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
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