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Valley officially in the running to host a future men’s Final Four

PHOENIX — A Monday announcement put the Valley in the running to host a Final Four for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Committees said Monday the Phoenix/Glendale region and the University of Phoenix Stadium have been chosen as a finalist to host a Final Four. If chosen to be the host, the Valley would become the final site of the NCAA Tournament somewhere between 2017 and 2020.

The greater Phoenix region has never hosted a Final Four, but it is no stranger to providing a venue for some of the earlier rounds of March Madness.

University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale served as a regional host in 2009, while Arizona State was the host school for regional play at Phoenix’s US Airways Center in 2012, 2008, 2004, and 1999. The state has also hosted early-round games of the tournament 18 other times.

“The University of Phoenix Stadium and the (Arizona) Cardinals are committed to producing a bid that will bring the highest-profiled NCAA Championship to our region,” said Dawn Rogers, senior associate athletic director at Arizona State. “The western United States deserves to host a Final Four, and we have the cooperation, energy, passion and support of every municipality in our region to support this unique event.”

The final bidding process will take place over the coming year. Completed bids are due in May, and representatives from each finalist city will have to make presentations in Indianapolis in November. The winning bids will be announced later that month.

According to an Arizona State press release, venues must hold a minimum of 60,000 fans for a men’s Final Four, and host cities or regions must be able to provide at least 10,000 full-service hotel rooms within reasonable proximity to the venue.

North Texas will host the 2014 men’s Final Four, while Indianapolis and Houston will host the event in 2015 and 2016, respectively.