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Las Vegas will host NCAA Tournament men’s regional for first time

Tampa and Phoenix are chosen as women’s Final Four sites

Las Vegas will host an NCAA men’s basketball regional for the first time.
Las Vegas will host an NCAA men’s basketball regional for the first time.
Nati Harnik/AP

INDIANAPOLIS — Las Vegas will host an NCAA Tournament men’s regional for the first time after the NCAA changed a policy that prevented states with sports wagering from hosting championships.

And the NCAA women’s Final Four is also headed west.

Phoenix will host the 2026 women’s championship, the NCAA announced Wednesday. It will be the first time since 2012, when Denver was the host, that the women’s Final Four will be in the Mountain or Western time zone.

The 2023 NCAA Tournament men’s regional in Las Vegas will be the first time Nevada will host an NCAA championship since a women’s basketball regional was held at the Thomas & Mack Center in 1991.

These were among 450 host sites announced through 2026 for a variety of sports. Nevada will host 11 events, including the 2026 men’s Frozen Four, after the NCAA changed its stance on cities with sports betting last year.

The NCAA also announced Dayton, Ohio, will continue to host the NCAA First Four through at least 2026. It has served as the site for the start of the NCAA Tournament since 2001.

The NCAA had previously announced future Final Four sites: Indianapolis in 2021; New Orleans, 2022; Houston, 2023; Phoenix 2024; San Antonio, 2025; and Indianapolis again in 2026.

The 2020 Final Four in Atlanta was wiped out by the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The women’s Final Four is the latest championship event to be held in Phoenix.

“Historically we have hosted every major sporting event. We’ve had the Super Bowl, the men’s Final Four, the national championship football game. We have a history of successfully hosting events,” Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said.

Tampa was awarded the 2025 Final Four, marking the fourth time that the Florida city will be the host. Tampa last hosted in 2019.

“Tampa Bay and Phoenix will be great future hosts for what has become America’s marquee women’s sporting event,” said Nina King, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. “The committee appreciates all of the cities that were involved in the bid process and know that when we crown a national champion in those cities that our student-athletes, coaches and fans will have enjoyed an amazing championship experience.”

Portland, Oregon, and Columbus, Ohio, were the other two finalists.

The next four Final Fours will be played in San Antonio, Minneapolis, Dallas and Cleveland. Dallas will also host the Division II and III titles in 2023.

The NCAA also announced the eight cities that will host regionals from 2023-26. The NCAA decided to move to a two-city regional format with eight teams at each site starting in 2023. Greenville, South Carolina, and Seattle will host regional play in 2023. Albany, New York, and Portland, Oregon, will host in 2024; Birmingham, Alabama, and Spokane, Washington, in 2025; and Fort Worth, Texas, and Sacramento, California, in 2026.

“This bid cycle was significant for Division I women’s basketball as we were able to identify two outstanding future host cities for the Women’s Final Four in 2025 and 2026 and named the eight regional host sites that will be part of our new two-site regional format that is in play beginning in 2023,” said Lynn Holzman, vice president of women’s basketball at the NCAA. “I am pleased that over the next six years we will play in several new markets, while providing enhanced hosting opportunities.”

This year’s Final Four was supposed to be in New Orleans but was also canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.