INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTHI) - Huge news from college basketball for Indianapolis was announced on Monday. The NCAA announced that the men’s postseason basketball tournament will be hosted in Indianapolis..
Indiana will be the sole host of March Madness in 2021. All 68 teams will go to Indianapolis and surrounding areas to compete for the NCAA Men’s National Championship.
Most of the games will happen at multiple venues in Indianapolis. Those are Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum. Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Assembly Hall in Bloomington will also be used.
The majority of teams will stay in hotels connected to the Indiana Convention Center. The Convention Center will also be used as a practice facility. As you can imagine, Hoosiers are pumped up to hear about this news. News 10 caught up with one Indianapolis native who shared his excitement.
“We’re a city that’s built on sporting events and conventions and that sort of thing,” Indianapolis resident Nate Spangle said, “2020 was definitely rough on that downtown economy, so having all these teams there and the energy that brings—it’s going to be a great kick start to 2021.”
NCAA officials say this will be historic and a monumental effort to host what would be the largest “bubble-like” attempt by any major sport during the pandemic.
A local health partner in Indianapolis will handle testing for all players, coaches, officials, staffers, and any other personnal connected to the event. The announcement did not specify the frequency of testing, but NCAA officials are saying this will be a “highly controlled” environment. Marion County officials have approved the NCAA’s plan and protocols.
Teams will stay on dedicated hotel floors and abide by social distancing throughout their time in the tournament. Despite only a limited amount of family members being allowed to watch games in person, Spangle says this is a great opportunity for all fans in the Hoosier State.
“Hopefully, I know right now they aren’t allowing fans or spectators or anyone, but hopefully that will change by the time the tournament comes around and people from Terre Haute and other drivable areas around Indianapolis can make the drive and attend some basketball games.”
Selection Sunday is still scheduled for March 14th. The Final Four is set to be held April 3rd and April 5th at Lucas Oil Stadium.