It was announced yesterday that the new Dallas Cowboys spaceship-like stadium is going to host the 2014 Final Four. But am I the only one who finds it aggravating that college basketball continues to use football arenas for its crown jewel?
This is the schedule for the next eight years:
2009: Ford Field, Detroit
2010: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
2011: Reliant Stadium, Houston
2012: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans
2013: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
2014: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington
2015: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
2016: Reliant Stadium, Houston
Seriously, those are all NFL stadia. The reason it is in Indianapolis twice is that the NCAA is headquartered there so they now get the Final Four every fifth year. But anyway, the rule is now that an arena has to hold 70,000 in order to host the Final Four, starting this year. That is just way too many people for basketball games. I’ve never been to the final four and the largest setting in which I’ve ever watched a live basketball game is 21,750 at the Dean Dome in 2002 against Virginia. I cannot imagine watching with 50,000 additional fans. I went to the Sugar Bowl in 2004 with my brother to watch LSU and Oklahoma play for the BCS National Title and there were around 70,000 in the Superdome. We were way up in the upper deck which wasn’t too bad for football but would’ve been awful for basketball.
I understand, especially nowadays, that organizations even as strong as the NCAA need to do whatever they can to earn as much money as possible. But I just hate that true basketball arenas aren’t being used anymore. The Meadowlands was the last arena built for basketball that was used for the Final Four and that was in 1996. They used to hold the tournament at great places like Rupp Arena or The Pit in Albuquerque.
The point is, basketball sucks when watched from the upper deck of a massive football stadium. It doesn’t look like this is going to change at all but I just wanted to voice a complaint.