Minnesota Loses 2021 NCAA March Madness Games
There's been no shortage of events and activities in Minnesota that the coronavirus pandemic has canceled in 2020, but now Minnesota has lost an event set for 2021 as well.
We've pretty much written off 2020 by now, right? It's been a dumpster fire of a year, all brought on by our months-long battle with the coronavirus outbreak. It canceled concerts, activities, school sports and wouldn't allow fans to attend those few college and professional sports events that are still being held (looking at you, Wild, Wolves, Twins, Gophers and Vikings.)
But now there's word that Minnesota will completely miss out on hosting ANOTHER big sports event: the 2021 NCAA March Madness Final Four college basketball tournament, which had games scheduled to take place at Target Center in Minneapolis between March 25th and 27th 2021.
Now, while the Land of 10,000 Lakes wasn't set to host THE Final Four games (like we did when U.S. Bank Stadium hosted the Final Four back in 2019), Minnesota WAS scheduled to be the Midwest Regional site of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament next year-- an event that was scheduled WAAAAY before the coronavirus pandemic broke out last March.
But now, even though the event won't take place until next year (and there's the real potential for a COVID-19 vaccine to be available before then) it won't be happening here in Minnesota. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, the NCAA is moving the ENTIRE tournament to Indianapolis, Indiana, where the Final Four was already scheduled to take place at various locations throughout the city. Which means it's cutting ties with Minneapolis and other cities that were originally slated to host some of the early round of games in the 68-team tournament.
What's behind the move? According to the NCAA, it's all about trying to isolate the various teams and create a bubble-like environment, similar to what the NBA did during its championships earlier this year.
"The committee has decided the championship should be held in a single geographic area to enhance the safety and well-being of the event," the NCAA said earlier this week. And since Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis was already scheduled to host the Final Four games, it looks now like the entire tournament will be held in Indy as well.
Of course, this is just ONE event that's been impacted by the ongoing pandemic. Keep scrolling to check out how OTHER sports have been impacted by the coronavirus as well.