(SAN ANTONIO) - San Antonio is the chosen one for the 2025 Men’s NCAA Final Four. Word came out from the Alamodome TVs as the community gathered to anxiously await the decision last Tuesday. Everyone screamed and erupted into cheer as the city got chosen to host the Final Four in 2025. “VIVA San Antonio” yelled Mayor Nirenberg to the crowd as they listened to his press conference.
Houston was picked first for the 2023 Final Four and Phoenix was next for 2024. Hearts were beating heavy to see if SA would make the cut as we also were running alongside of Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Dallas and Detroit. Congratulations Indianapolis as they also beat out LA, Detroit and Dallas for the 2026 Final Four.
There was slight hesitation to award the 2025 tournament to San Antonio with worries of the Alamodome not being up to date. Currently, the NCAA requires you have 70+ suites within the dome when currently the Alamodome only is in the 60’s. Upgrades are no problem explained Mayor Nirenberg in Boston where cities went to bid on hosting the tournament.
San Antonio just hosted the NCAA Final Four this past March which is why Nirenberg explained San Antonio has proven its success with last March’s Championships. Last years Final Four drove around $180 MILLION dollars into the local community. The downtown community- as stated by City Manager Sheryl Sculley, “We will only continue to get better”. With many on going downtown projects, we have heard of plans in place to renovate Alamo Plaza and more upgrades to Hemisphere Park. Those are wonderful things the Mayor and City Manger point out about our growth as a competing top city in the nation.
San Antonio Alamodome Photo Credit: Star-Telegram
There is an another opportunity for the City of San Antonio to be inclusive moving forward in planning of this huge undertaking of this type of event. As a top city with a AAA Credit Rating there is someone pushing the buttons of this city that is very financially savvy. The pros and cons have been weighed before the Mayor took the trip to Boston to bid on the tournament (who doesn't run numbers before bidding, right?). Everything comes down to numbers and if the numbers do not work the plan does not work. San Antonio’s plan works and will show itself to be true in 2025. But at what expense? Since the numbers work it makes financial sense but some numbers have not been talked about yet and thats understanding as we are in celebration mode. But planning starts quickly with only 6 1/2 years to make improvements to Alamodome.
Will the city include it's own resources to be a part of what they are so proud to host? This is a huge opportunity for the City of San Antonio to be inclusive. Inclusive of all organizations and small businesses. As the huge financial profit dumps into downtown which is mostly, hospitality, restaurants, attractions, etc., how can this include small business and minority businesses to be specific?
We hope that the City of San Antonio looks at diversifying and showing best practices when hosting something of this magnitude in their very own city. As we all are aware, business stops and unjust treatment begins as soon as you pass over the railroad tracks after St. Mary's Square or driving past the Alamodome where the Final Four will be held. Will the City Manager and Mayor include African American representation and other minority groups in the planning process or will it be as it always has- non-inclusive?
We will be staying informed and pushing out information to our neighbors and community over time to ensure you can take this ride with the city.
And hopefully- just hopefully we will not just ride along but we will have a seat on the ride- preferably at the table.