Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for first time
Less than 72 hours after being named the host city for the 2021 NCAA Men’s Final Four, the Circle City added another event to its upcoming schedule. The NCAA announced Indianapolis as one of the sites to host first and second rounds games of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday, March 17 and Sunday, March 19. The four First Round games (Friday) and two Second Round games (Sunday) will be the first NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games at the home of the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever.
“Our long-standing relationship with the NCAA continues to pay great dividends for our city and state,” said Ryan Vaughn, Indiana Sports Corp President. “NCAA championship events will continue to be a huge part of our calendar moving forward, and we are excited to welcome thousands of fans and a national audience to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for this event in 2017. We are no stranger to huge events at the Fieldhouse and it’s extremely rewarding to bring the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to the best arena in the NBA.”
The announcement marks the first time that the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament will be played in Indianapolis since 2005. The city also hosted first and second round action in 1978, 1982, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999, and 2003 (in addition to 2005).
Bankers Life Fieldhouse was the site of the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2011, and will host the event again in 2016. The venue also has a long-standing relationship with the Big Ten Conference, hosting both the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments on a regular basis.
“We are delighted and honored to welcome NCAA basketball fans to what we believe is the finest basketball venue in the country,” said Rick Fuson, president and chief operating officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “Our staff looks forward to working with Indiana Sports Corp and the NCAA in presenting an exceptional experience for the student-athletes, coaches and fans.”
The 2015 Men’s Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium will mark the 22nd time since 1940 that the men’s basketball championship has come to Indianapolis. The 2021 Men’s Final Four will be the eighth Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis, second only to the 10 hosted in Kansas City (most recently in 1988). The NCAA announced preliminary sites for the 2016-2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments. Indianapolis had previously been awarded the 2016 Women’s Final Four and the 2018 NCAA Convention.
Indiana Sports Corp will manage the Indiana Host Committee in partnership with NCAA Host Institutions Horizon League and IUPUI for the 2017 NCAA first and second rounds, and both the 2015 and 2021 Men’s Final Fours.
“Today’s announcement is another reflection of the partnership between Indianapolis and the NCAA,” Horizon League Commissioner Jonathan B. LeCrone said. “We are excited to be a co-host for the First and Second Rounds of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with Indiana Sports Corp and IUPUI, and look forward to hosting at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, one of the finest basketball facilities in the country.”
“We’re excited to bring yet another postseason basketball event to Indianapolis,” said IUPUI Director of Athletics Michael Moore. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Indiana Sports Corp, Horizon League and Pacers Sports and Entertainment to host another first-rate event. Basketball in March has become a tradition in this city and Indianapolis wholeheartedly embraces the tradition and sets the gold standard in the ability to host championship events.”
Recent and Upcoming Schedule of NCAA Basketball Events in Indianapolis:
2009 – Men’s Basketball Midwest Regional
2010 – Men’s Final Four
2011 – Women’s Final Four
2012 – NCAA Convention
2013 – Men’s Basketball Midwest Regional
2014 – Men’s Basketball Midwest Regional
2015 – Men’s Final Four
2016 – Women’s Final Four
2017 – Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds
2018 – NCAA Convention
2021 – Men’s Final Four
**Men’s Basketball Tournament preliminary round sites have not been announced beyond 2018.
Indiana Sports Corp’s mission is to create positive impact by hosting world-class sporting events that enhance vibrancy in the community, build civic pride, drive economic impact and media exposure, and encourage opportunities for youth. A not-for-profit organization, Indiana Sports Corp was founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission. Our recent and upcoming schedule of events includes NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, Big Ten Football Championship Games through 2021, Big Ten Basketball Tournaments, 2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships, 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving, and much more. For more information, visit IndianaSportsCorp.