The now-under-construction Vikings Stadium will host one of the sporting world's premier events: The NCAA Men's Final Four basketball tournament.
On Friday afternoon, Minneapolis was named as the host city for the 2019 March Madness tourney. The selection brings a third top sporting event to Minnesota in the latter years of the decade. The Twin Cities has already been selected as the host city for golf's Ryder Cup in 2016 and the 2018 Super Bowl.
Governor Mark Dayton called it great news for Minnesota.
"Being chosen to host the 2019 NCAA Final Four is great news for Minnesota. That weekend's drama and excitement will bring tens of thousands of fans and millions of dollars in economic benefits to our state."
Minneapolis was one of eight cities in the running to host the tournaments between 2017 and 2020. According to the Star Tribune, Phoenix will host it in 2017, San Antonio in 2018 and Atlanta in 2020.
The other cities in the running that didn't get a bid this time were New Orleans, Indianapolis, Dallas and St. Louis.
CBS Sports noted that every one of those cities except Phoenix has hosted college basketball's ultimate weekend in the past. It will be the third time Minneapolis has hosted the Final Four – the city also hosted it in 1992 and 2001 in the Metrodome.
The Meet Minneapolis group led the city’s bid earlier this week in Indianapolis. The steering committee presented its final pitch to the NCAA men’s basketball committee on Tuesday.
“Our presentation went off flawlessly,” Michele Kelm-Helgen, steering committee spokeswoman and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman, told the Star Tribune on Tuesday afternoon.
Here is a virtual tour of the new stadium's setup for the Final Four.
The 2015 NCAA Men's Final Four will be held next April in Indianapolis, which is already promoting events associated with the tournament.