NCAA to Consider Single Site for Future Basketball Tournaments (Getty)
By Nick Koutsobinas | Tuesday, 06 April 2021 07:26 PM
The NCAA is considering the use of a single site for future tournaments following a successful men’s college basketball tournament held primarily in Indianapolis and exclusively in Indiana, according to the Associated Press.
"If it's the desire of the committee and the membership to consider something along these lines for the future, I think we would give it significant consideration," NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt told reporters Tuesday during a conference call.
"I would hesitate to say, though, I don't think a 68-team single site, short of another pandemic, would be something we would have great interest in. However, once you get down to a fewer amount of teams, say the Sweet 16 and on, having teams in the same location may provide some opportunities the membership, coaches and all would want to consider for the future."
The NCAA has already awarded preliminary rounds up to 2026 and plans to play those games as scheduled, which they couldn't do this season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Players, coaches, and staff had to be tested daily during this year's tournament and seating capacity was capped at 25 percent, according to AP. Players and coaches lived in a virtual bubble throughout the parsing of the bracket.
Gavitt said only 15 tests came back positive among the 28,311 COVID-19 tests conducted. The tournament drew 173,592 fans this year. Some 8,000 attended Monday night's game at Lucas Oil Stadium, where Baylor ended Gonzaga's perfect season, taking home its first NCAA title.
Gavitt said Indianapolis would provide a great backup plan as a single-site city if needed in the future.
"Knowing what we were able to pull off here in such a short amount of time, I think gives me and the NCAA staff incredible confidence that we have minimally an incredible backup plan if we're presented with a challenge and have to shift…I think it will only lead to more opportunities for NCAA championships and other NCAA activities and events that we know will work so well in this convention center and surrounding facilities."