We have liftoff! The Houston Local Organizing Committee and the NCAA held a news conference Wednesday to launch the logo for the 2016 Men’s Final Four, which will be played April 2 and 4 at NRG Stadium. The event will be hosted by Rice and Houston.
“The City of Houston and Harris County are thrilled that the NCAA chose to return to our community following the highly successful NCAA Men's Basketball Finals here in 2011,” said Tony Chase, chair of the Houston Local Organizing Committee. “In addition to showcasing great basketball games, the NCAA Men’s Final Four has an incredible impact on the host city.”
This will be the third Final Four played in Houston. Houston played host to its first Final Four in 1971 when UCLA defeated Villanova 68-62 for the championship. In 2011 Houston hosted Kentucky, VCU, UConn and Butler in the Final Four, when UConn’s Kemba Walker led the Huskies past Butler 53-41 in the final.
The 2016 Final Four logo is part of an Association-wide rebranding of the NCAA’s 89 championships across all three divisions. “The 2016 Houston logo embodies the passion and excitement of collegiate basketball fans while showcasing the NCAA trophy, which is the iconic symbol of student-athlete success on the court,” said Jeff Jarnecke, NCAA director of championships and alliances. “While celebrating elements specific to Houston and the Lone Star state, the mark will forever memorialize the experiences of the four teams, local organizers and fans.”
With the unveiling of the 2016 logo, the NCAA also announced its plans to work with the Houston Independent School District to continue its legacy of community outreach initiatives. “From the support of our host institutions to its impact on area youth and community events, the Final Four leaves a deep and lasting impact on our region,” said Chase. Specific program plans for future efforts will be announced at a later date.
Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men’s basketball, is equally thrilled for the Final Four to return to Houston in 2016. “We are very excited to bring the Final Four back to Houston in 2016, five years after a successful return to the largest city in Texas,” Gavitt said. “NRG Stadium is a beautiful venue that provides a great championship experience for Final Four student-athletes, coaches and fans. The University of Houston and Rice University are excellent hosts for this special American sports tradition -- the one and only Final Four.”
Fans hoping for a chance to receive tickets to the 2016 Men’s Final Four can apply for the NCAA’s random selection process between March 16 and May 31, 2015. Visit www.NCAA.com for more details.
Houston will get the ball rolling for the 2016 tournament by hosting the upcoming South Regionals at NRG Stadium in March 2015. Tickets to the 2015 South Regional, which takes place March 27 and 29, can be purchased by visiting www.ncaa.com/mbbtickets.