The NCAA Tournament will no longer hold games in domes during its first or second weekends of play, according to a report by ESPN's Andy Katz.
In the past, hosting Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games has been a prerequisite for hosting a Final Four. It's why we've seen Regional Finals played in places like Lucas Oil Stadium and Cowboys Stadium in recent years. The NCAA has decided that this will not be the case going forward.
The NCAA will have a portal available in July on its website for Final Four sites to make proposals for 2017-2020; a decision on sites for those years will be made later in 2014. The NCAA won't put any restrictions on the proposals, meaning that a city that doesn't have a dome can make an offer and the NCAA will discuss it. The NCAA has made one decision on domes -- it is done with them in regional finals. Mark Lewis, the NCAA's vice president in charge of championships, said using domes for regionals was a trial run for future Final Fours. But the upcoming Final Four sites have already had the dry run, so the NCAA doesn't need to do this anymore. Lewis said regional finals should be in arenas, and that will be the plan going forward. The next three Final Fours are in Arlington, Texas, in 2014; Indianapolis in 2015; and Houston in 2016.
It's a change that will likely please the majority of college basketball fans, who have complained for more than a decade now about the raised courts and the lackluster viewing experience inside domes.