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Minneapolis Makes Final Bid For Final Four

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis made its final pitch Tuesday to host an upcoming NCAA Final Four.

The steering committee for Minneapolis' bid made a one-hour presentation to the NCAA men's basketball committee in Indianapolis.

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen told the Star Tribune the group's presentation "went off flawlessly."

"We presented everything we wanted to in the way we wanted it to be presented. The committee seemed to react positively," Kelm-Helgen said.

Minneapolis is one of eight cities — joining New Orleans, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Dallas, Phoenix, San Antonio and St. Louis — that have been named finalists to receive a Final Four in the-four-year cycle of 2017-2020.

The Meet Minneapolis civic group is specifically bidding for three years, 2018-2020. The city is not pursuing the 2017 tournament because hosts also get a regional final the preceding year and the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium won't be built in time for the 2016 tournament, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Kelm-Helgen, who is a member of Minneapolis' steering committee, said the group emphasized the new stadium and easy light-rail access to hotels, the airport and the University of Minnesota.

"Our venue, obviously, is one of our biggest strengths," she told the Pioneer Press. The $1 billion new Vikings stadium is set to open in time for the 2016 NFL football season and will host the 2018 Super Bowl.

Three other cities presented Tuesday, and the remaining four will present on Wednesday. Of the other finalists, only Phoenix has never hosted a Final Four. Minneapolis hosted a Final Four in 1992 and 2001 at the old Metrodome.

The decision will be announced Friday.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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