A perfect storm of COVID spread, enthusiasm for college basketball, and a plethora of facilities will give the City of Indianapolis an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to remember forever, if the NCAA pulls the trigger on plans to hold all rounds of the NCAA Tournament where only the Final Four was originally scheduled.
Logistics for this number of games in a 21 day span can be complicated, but coming to Indy will make it very simple for schools, TV networks, and the NCAA to hold its event as safely as possible. Indy will need four gyms, and we have them. Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmer Coliseum, and Hinkle Fieldhouse should work nicely as host sites for four first round games each on Thursday and Friday.
There were enough hotel rooms for the 2012 Super Bowl, so I’m guessing tournament games with limited fans won’t provide a demand for rooms that cannot be met. Restaurants are craving business, and this might provide 14 days of big business.
Indianapolis is the perfect city to host an event like this. Even with the four venues that will be used, no one needs to drive or Uber more than six miles to a game – or set of four games. Hotels are all downtown. The airport is an easy 15 minute drive. This city was literally designed to host Final Fours, or a series of NCAA basketball events in the same 19 days.
I would feel bad for the cities that planned for a subregional or regional, but these are weird times and I just don’t feel like pitying others because Indianapolis finally caught a break.
The NCAA Tournament is a magical event that brings an influx of energetic people with fat wallets into a city eager to watch their school’s program roll the dice toward a Final Four and National Championship. That all games might be played here seems like such a great idea, it should be adopted without hesitation – and permanently.