July 09, 2004
Mark your calendar

Earlier this week, I said:

Coming up next: Why (eventually) hosting an NCAA Men's Basketball Regional at the Toyota Center will bring millions of dollars plus prestige and exposure to the City of Houston! Just bookmark this post for future reference.

Well, mark your calendar for 2008.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee named Reliant Park as a site for an NCAA Tournament regional in 2008 on Thursday.

The stadium was previously awarded a regional in 2010 and the 2011 Final Four.

"We are thrilled with the NCAA’s decision to come to Houston as early as 2008," said Shea Guinn, president and general manager of SMG-Reliant Park. "With the Super Bowl in 2004, the return of the Big 12 Conference football championship in 2005, the NCAA men’s regionals in 2008 and 2010 and the Final Four in 2011, Reliant Stadium is establishing itself as a long-term home for premier collegiate athletics and major national sporting events."

The University of Houston will serve as the university host for the events.

"The University of Houston has a rich tradition in men’s basketball, so we are very excited with the committee’s decision, and we look forward to working with the NCAA on preparing for the (tournaments)," UH athletic director Dave Maggard said.

Other regional sites selected for 2008 are Charlotte, N.C., Phoenix and Detroit.

First- and second-round sites are Little Rock, Ark.; Anaheim, Calif.; Birmingham, Ala.; Denver.; Omaha, Neb.; Raleigh, N.C.; Tampa, Fla.; and Washington, D.C. The Final Four will be in San Antonio.

OK, so it's Reliant and not the Toyota Center, but still. Anyone want to bet that by 2008, we still won't have a reasonably accurate picture of the financial impact that Super Bowl XXXVIII had on Houston?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 09, 2004 to Other sports | TrackBack

What will be amazing is that people will pay an arm and a leg to sit in the nosebleed seats of the stadium for a weekend of basketball.

Then again, the first basketball game to be played in a football stadium was the 1968 UCLA-Houston game at the Astrodome, so there is some history involved.

Posted by: William Hughes on July 9, 2004 9:09 AM