Final Four could head back to arenas by 2017

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

NCAA vice president of championships Mark Lewis says the NCAA is discussing returning Final Fours to more intimate basketball arena venues.

The culmination of each year's NCAA men's basketball tournament has come to be symbolized by the nation's best teams playing while dwarfed by the giant football stadiums Final Fours have come to be staged at in recent years.

But according to a new report, the days of the NFL stadium playing host to a Final Four might soon be behind us. In a statement, NCAA vice president of championships Mark Lewis said that the NCAA was "actively discussing" returning the iconic basketball event back to the more manageable basketball arenas that once housed it yearly.

Burke Magnus, ESPN's head of college sports programming, also said fans could "bank on" the Final Four returning to arenas within five years.

With the 2013 Final Four scheduled for Atlanta's Georgia Dome, 2014 slated for Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, 2015 set for Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and 2016 already locked into Houston's Reliant Stadium, Mangus would have to have his sights set on 2017, at the earliest, for the possible shift.

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