Las Vegas is set to host the Final Four for the first time in 2028, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.
Officials also announced several other future sites for the men’s college basketball national semifinals and championship games will be held.
Ford Field in Detroit would host the Final Four in 2027, while Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis would get the 2029 event and AT&T Stadium in Dallas would get the 2030 event.
“We are excited to bring the NCAA’s premier championship to Las Vegas, a city that for a number of years has hosted numerous championships from several member conferences,” said Bradley athletic director Chris Reynolds, who chairs the NCAA selection committee. “The feedback from leagues, the fans of their teams and the media covering the events staged there has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are confident we’ll get the same reviews.”
The Final Four for the 2022-2023 season will place at NRG Stadium in Houston. Next seasons national championship game is set for State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, the site of the upcoming Super Bowl in February.
The NCAA’s decision to select Las Vegas is significant because the organization has previously decided to play its marquee event elsewhere due to the city’s reputation as a gambling hub.
As sports wagering has becomes legal in more U.S. states, the NCAA has seemed to ease its position on gambling. It is also likely that the recently-constructed, nearly $2 billion Allegiant Stadium was attractive to organizers.
Collegiate basketball conferences have already signed on to play their championship games in Las Vegas. The Mountain West is set to play their championship at the Thomas & Mack Center, while the Pac-12 conference will play at T-Mobile Arena.
In March, the NCAA Tournament will make its Las Vegas debut with T-Mobile Arena hosting regional round games.
“We’re thrilled. It’s pretty exciting to have such a marquee event come to town,” said Steve Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Vegas has been a basketball town for decades. We’ve had an interesting road with the NCAA along that time. It is really gratifying to be able to work with the NCAA to bring their marquee event here and really celebrate what basketball is all about in this town.”
Once thought to be an off limit place for sports, Las Vegas has suddenly become a destination.
The Raiders relocated from Oakland and the NHL expanded and opted to place the Golden Knight’s in Las Vegas. The NFL played the Pro Bowl in the city last season. The league decided to bring the exhibition game it back in February, although the Pro Bowl will look different.
For the first time in over 40 years, Formula 1 is returning to the Las Vegas Strip next summer.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis is no stranger to hosting college basketball’s marquee event. Lucas Oil Stadium was hosted the Final Four six times over the past 25 years.
“It’s been said many times about how coaches, players, fans and media love coming to the Final Four in Indianapolis, but I don’t think you can overstate just how much everyone enjoys their experience when they go,” Reynolds said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.