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Minnesota bids to host Final Four at new Vikings stadium

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Just a few days after Minnesota secured Super Bowl 52, business and political leaders are setting their sights on bringing another major sporting event back to Minnesota.

Gov. Mark Dayton along with Gopher basketball greats Trent Tucker and Lindsay Whalen announced a bid to bring the NCAA Final Four to the new Vikings stadium.

"Hosting the NCAA Final Four would bring tens of thousands of visitors to Minnesota, and put our state center-stage during one of the most-watched sporting events of the year," said Dayton, in a statement. "We plan to pursue this opportunity, and the economic benefits that come with it, with the same enthusiasm and creativity that secured the 2018 Super Bowl."

The Metrodome hosted the Final Four in 1992 and again in 2001.

Dayton named Health Partners, Inc. CEO Mary Brainerd and David Mortenson, President of Mortenson Construction as the co-chairs of the Minnesota Final Four Steering Committee. He also named Whalen and Tucker as honorary co-chairs.

Others on the committee, according to the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, include Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairperson Michele Kelm-Helgen, Melvin Tennant of Meet Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota's Andy Parrish.

The Associated Press reports that Minneapolis had previously been named a finalist for the Final Four at some point between 2017 and 2020. Officials say it makes the most since to wait until after the Super Bowl in 2018.

Other finalist cities for the men's tournaments between 2017 and 2020 include Atlanta, Indianapolis, New Orleans, North Texas, Phoenix/Glendale, San Antonio and St. Louis.

A decision is expected in early November.

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