Minneapolis Makes Its Pitch for the Final Four

If Minneapolis hosts the Final Four it will look something like this

If Minneapolis hosts the Final Four it will look something like this

If an envoy of local business bigwigs and Minneapolis boosters were convincing enough yesterday the city could host the MLB All-Star Game, Super Bowl and Final Four within a span of five years.

The NCAA will announce which of eight finalist cities will host the Final Four from 2017-2020 on Friday. Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said the presentation "went off without a hitch" when we caught up with her on her way home from the presentation to the NCAA in Indianapolis.

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The pitch was centered around the city's big, shiny new stadium, the walkability of downtown Minneapolis and its connection to St. Paul and Bloomington via light rail.

Minneapolis' team had an hour to try to convince the NCAA, as opposed to only 12 minutes for the Super Bowl bid, which they won in May.

Kelm-Helgen said the package they offered did not include the same level of concessions it offered for the Super Bowl.

"Mainly we just provide our venues. We don't - their staff come in and rent hotel rooms, but they don't ask for anything to be specifically provided," she said.

Festivities would run for almost a week, with an fan fair called 'Bracket Town' taking over the Convention Center for four days and a three-day March Madness Music Festival happening around town.

The Commons, which is what the city is calling the controversial 4.2-acre park on the new stadium's doorstep, would also be booked for the duration of the Final Four.

"These type of events require large exterior event spaces, and that's part of what we were presenting, the fact that we have this large park/plaza space in front of the stadium that they'll have access to for all of their pregame events," said Kelm-Helgen.

Win or lose, the MSFA will release its presentation and videos on Friday after the announcement.