March 25, 2007
How to run the Final Four

Interesting article on how the Reliant Stadium crew and associated others are studying what other Final Four sites have done in preparation for Houston's turn as host in 2011 (we get regionals next year and 2010 as warm-up acts). Just a couple of points to highlight:

The Bayou City last hosted a Final Four in 1971 at the Astrodome. UH has served as NCAA Tournament hosts at Hofheinz Pavilion (1971, 1973 and 1985) and The Summit (1980, 1983 and 1986), and the span of years between stints is reason for pause. The scope of the event has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, so a sizable Houston contingent made the trip to observe how San Antonio handled the challenge.

Has it changed so much that the venue formerly known as The Summit was unacceptable from 1987 on? Or was there something else at play? I mean, while big non-basketball stadia like Reliant are the rage now (for capacity purposes, one presumes; it's surely not for the intimate atmosphere), it's not like they were the only options for that duration. Why exactly is it that Houston has been overlooked for so long? Suggestions are welcome in the comments.

"The Final Four is arguably the second-largest sporting event in the country behind the Super Bowl, and it is no small task," [Reliant Park president Shea] Guinn said.

I think you'd get a pretty strong argument from fans of the World Series, for one. Admittedly, one doesn't know in advance where it will be in a given year, so the two aren't directly comparable. But still.

So. Anybody else hoping to score tickets to the 2008 South Regional here? I think I've got Tiffany on board with that, but it may just be the afterglow of her Hoyas making it to the Final Four. Check back with me in a few months and we'll see if this is still in the cards.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 25, 2007 to Other sports

As I remember, one of the issues with the Summit was parking. Since the parking was shared with Greenway Plaza office buildings, day games would have been a problem.

Posted by: kh on March 26, 2007 9:40 AM