Minneapolis continued to shine in the international sports spotlight in 2019 thanks to another major event coming through town. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four took place downtown on April 6-8, welcoming basketball fans from around the country to celebrate one of college sports’ most celebrated weekends.
The Mpls Final Four Local Organizing Committee collaborated with the NCAA in making a memorable experience for all those who took part in the festivities. Their work organizing the numerous events located across the downtown footprint helped create a festive atmosphere throughout the week.
As a result, the Mpls Final Four Local Organizing Committee was selected as a mpls downtown council 2025 plan leadership award. It will be recognized on Oct. 1 at the mpls downtown council annual gala.
Overall, the event welcomed more than 90,000 fans to downtown while providing $143 million worth of economic impact for our local economy. Over the course of the four days, the event hosted the national semifinal and championship games, the Tip-Off Tailgate on Nicollet, the Final Four Fan Fest, a Final Four Friday practice event, a concert series and an all-time record 2,442 credentialed media.
Two first-time schools made this year’s Final Four–Auburn and Texas Tech–while perennial powerhouse Michigan State and recent standout Virginia rounded out the visiting fan bases. Virginia won the national championship, but all four schools brought big crowds and proudly wore their colors to all the major events. Some of the highlights included a 90-foot Ferris Wheel on Nicollet, internationally-celebrated concerts like The Jonas Brothers at The Armory, and incredible varieties of games and photo props at the Final Four Fan Fest.
The Minneapolis Final Four Local Organizing Committee also led 2,200+ volunteers during the week, facilitated the North Commons Recreation Center gymnasium renovation as a legacy project, read 6.6 million minutes to 14,700+ students state-wide and more.
Overall, the Final Four garnered 135 million social media views and 120 million media mentions as Minneapolis shined in the international spotlight again.
Click here for more information on the 2025 plan.