Detroit awarded first Final Four since 2009

Detroit — The ball is tipped — in four years.

The NCAA announced Tuesday that college basketball’s biggest showcase, the Final Four, will be played at Ford Field in April 2027. It’s the city’s first time hosting the national semifinals and championship game since 2009.

Word came mid-day Tuesday, as members of the Detroit Sports Commission, which took the lead on the bidding process, gathered around a laptop, refreshing several times a minute.

“People think we get the news first,” said Dave Beachnau, executive director of the DSC. “We found out when it was posted for the general public. We were certainly on pins and needles.

“That’s the nature of the beast.”

The bidding process for another Final Four has been several years in the making, with a final pitch delivered by Detroit’s team to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee on Oct. 31. Among those involved in the final pitch were Beachnau; Kevin Pauga, Michigan State associate athletic director; Brad Michaels, executive director of the Quick Lane Bowl and Events for the Lions; Hakim Berry, chief operating officer for the city of Detroit; and Terry Rhadigan, vice president of corporate giving for General Motors.

Taped messages were also delivered by Detroit mayor Mike Duggan, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo and legendary broadcaster Mike Tirico.

The NCAA on Tuesday announced Final Four sites from 2027-30, with Detroit going first, Las Vegas in 2028, Indianapolis in 2029 and North Texas (Arlington) in 2030.

The Detroit Final Four will feature the semifinals on April 3 and the final on April 5, in 2027.

“Detroit is increasingly being recognized as one of America’s great sports towns and one of the best places in the country to visit,” Duggan said in a statement. “Today’s decision by the NCAA to host its 2027 Final Four tournament at Ford Field is further proof of that and great news for our city’s restaurants, shops and hotels.

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