Vegas, baby, Vegas. The Final Four, for the first time, is headed to Sin City after the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee approved Las Vegas as the site of the 2028 Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
The NCAA announced Tuesday the four sites for the 2027-30 Final Fours in men's basketball: Detroit, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and North Texas (Arlington). Las Vegas getting a Final Four is significant, long-awaited and historic. Because of the city's defining association with gambling, the NCAA for decades refused to hold championships there. That stance softened in the past few years, particularly with leagues such as the Pac-12, Mountain West, WCC and WAC holding their conference basketball tournaments on or near the famous Vegas Strip.
Tuesday's announcement was telegraphed years ago, when Vegas was awarded a regional in the men's NCAA Tournament. T-Mobile Arena will host Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games later this season and for the first time. The men's Final Four, as usual, will continue to be held in stadiums. In Vegas, Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, will get hosting duties.
"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," Chris Reynolds, Bradley AD and 2022-23 chair of the committee, said in a release. "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 when the Men's Final Four is played at Allegiant Stadium."
Detroit's Final Four marks just the second time the Motor City will get to host basketball's biggest event, and it will come 19 years after the last time it played organizer, in 2009. The greater Dallas area last hosted in 2014. The 2029 Final Four will mark the second time AT&T Stadium gets the biggest stage in college basketball and the third time Dallas has played host (1986).
And as usual, Indianapolis received another Final Four. The city generally gets selected for hosting duties in every bid cycle due to a long-standing deal the city struck with the NCAA (where the organization is based). Indianapolis will host in 2026 and 2029, marking the first time in almost 30 years a city has hosted two Final Fours in a four-year span — the last time it happened was also Indianapolis, in 1997 and 2000. The 2029 Final Four will be the 90th NCAA Tournament and mark Indy's 10th time hosting the big stage.
In a shocker, Atlanta was not awarded a Final Four in this four-year window, which was an expected outcome after the city lost its 2020 hosting opportunity due to the cancellation of March Madness because of COVID-19. At the time the 2020 NCAA Tournament was axed, the NCAA had already booked out Final Fours through 2026, making 2027 the earliest Atlanta could have hosted again. But sources told CBS Sports there were logistical hang-ups with Atlanta and these four years. The NCAA initially planned on announcing Final Fours through 2031 instead of 2030.
Atlanta was the only other finalist in this round of bids, meaning it's still considered the favorite to eventually land the 2031 Final Four at an undetermined date in the future.
Notable Final Four cities that were not among the finalists this time around: New Orleans, Phoenix, San Antonio and Houston. Houston, which will host in 2023, and San Antonio, which hosted in 2018 and will again in 2025, accounted for five Final Fours since 2011.
Men's future Final Four sites
- 2023: Houston
- 2024: Phoenix
- 2025: San Antonio
- 2026: Indianapolis
- 2027: Detroit
- 2028: Las Vegas
- 2029: Indianapolis
- 2030: North Texas
- 2031: TBD
On the women's side, future Final Four sites were announced Monday. While the men's Final Four is played in football stadiums, the women's still stages its biggest event in basketball arenas.
Women's future Final Four sites:
- 2023: Dallas
- 2024: Cleveland
- 2025: Tampa
- 2026: Phoenix
- 2027: Columbus, Ohio
- 2028: Indianapolis
- 2029: San Antonio
- 2030: Portland, Oregon
- 2031: Dallas