Minneapolis group says pitch to land Final Four went ‘flawlessly'


A member of the Minneapolis delegation that made the case for bringing college basketball's men's Final Four to the new Vikings stadium in the next few years tells the Star Tribune Tuesday's presentation went "flawlessly."

Michelle Kelm-Helgen, who chairs the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, also tells the newspaper the NCAA committee that heard the presentation in Indianapolis seemed to react positively.

The NCAA's men's basketball committee will announce Friday which four cities will host their big event from 2017 through 2020. Eight cities are finalists for the four spots.

The Pioneer Press explains that Minneapolis is not pursuing the 2017 event because Final Four hosts are also awarded a regional final the preceding year and construction of the new Vikings stadium will not be complete in time for the 2016 tournament.

Kelm-Helgen tells the Pioneer Press the new stadium was one of the selling points the Minneapolis group emphasized on Tuesday, along with easy rail access to hotels and strong corporate support in the Twin Cities. She says going through the process of landing the 2018 Super Bowl helped Minneapolis' boosters refine their message.

The Business Journal reports the Minneapolis group offered a 45-minute presentation, followed by 15 minutes of questions from the committee.

Along with Minneapolis, other finalists are San Antonio, Dallas, St. Louis, Phoenix, New Orleans, Indianapolis, and Atlanta. The Star Tribune says the committee heard from four cities Tuesday, with the other four presenting on Wednesday.

The NCAA plans a televised broadcast of its announcement at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

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