It’s rare these days that the NCAA and common sense find themselves in the same sentence. Fair or not, much of what college sports governing body does that’s worth reporting defies logic.
Chalk this one up as an anomaly, but one for which the NCAA deserves some level of credit.
NCAA tournament regionals are moving away from domes and, more often, back into arenas.
Here is part of what Katz wrote on ESPN.com:
“The NCAA is no longer mandating that a regional be played in a dome a year in advance of a Final Four at that site. The committee and the new leadership under Vice President Mark Lewis would rather the atmosphere be in arenas over domes in regionals. But that doesn’t mean they won’t award them to domes when sites are decided in 2014 for the events in 2017-2020. If there is a new dome, even in an old familiar Final Four city like in Atlanta, then there is a strong chance the new dome would get a regional for a test run. There is no longer a mandate, however, which is a clear distinction.”
In other words, regionals in Indianapolis — after the already scheduled regional in 2014 (ahead of the 2015 Final Four in Indy) — are more likely to be at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (known to most at Conseco Fieldhouse) than at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Even in Indy, a hoops haven and city that knows how to host events, the atmosphere at regionals is lacking, and isn’t close to its potential.
This likely isn’t altruistic, however. The NCAA is generating more revenue off television than ticket sales these days. A better atmosphere and courtside setting can only help with viewer appeal.
But, in doing so, the experience will be improved for athletes and on-site spectators.
So kudos. Sort of.