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Minnesota seeks NCAA basketball Final Four

St. Paul Pioneer Press

MINNEAPOLIS — After the successful effort to bring the Super Bowl to town in 2018, Gov. Mark Dayton today (Tuesday) plans to detail the campaign to land the men’s basketball Final Four.

The local bid for the college tournament has already been submitted, and Minneapolis is one of eight finalists, said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. The selection will be made in November.

Local business leaders and sports figures will join Dayton at the Capitol for a 2 p.m. news conference on the latest push, according to a release from his office.

The events are being sought for the $1 billion Minnesota Vikings football stadium, scheduled to open in Minneapolis on the former site of the Metrodome in 2016.

Kelm-Helgen said Minneapolis is applying to host the Final Four in any year from 2017-20.

Typically, the NCAA likes to have sites that host the Final Four host an earlier round of the college basketball tournament the previous year, Kelm-Helgen said, which means 2017 is out. And in 2018 the stadium will be hosting the Super Bowl.

So most likely the local bid will focus on 2019-20 for the Final Four, with preliminary rounds in earlier years, she said.