INDIANAPOLIS — The entire 2021 NCAA men's basketball tournament will be played at sites around Indiana, the NCAA announced Monday. The majority of the tournament will be played in Indianapolis.
“This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “We have worked tirelessly to reimagine a tournament structure that maintains our unique championship opportunity for college athletes. The reality of today’s announcement was possible thanks to the tremendous leadership of our membership, local authorities and staff.”
Games will be played on two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The NCAA said only one game at a time will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Indianapolis was already scheduled to host the Final Four from April 3-5 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Selection Sunday is set for March 14, and dates for the rest of the tournament have not yet been scheduled. Evansville will host the NCAA Division II men's basketball tournament, while the Division III tournament will be held in Fort Wayne.
"Indiana was made for this moment," Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said.
The NCAA will partner with a local health provider to administer COVID-19 testing for players, coaching staffs, administrators and officials. The Marion County Public Health Department approved the NCAA's medical plan and will continue working with the NCAA leading up to and during the tournament, according to a news release.
"We're not naive about how hard this is going to be," Emmert said. "We owe this opportunity to provide a healthy, safe environment for the teams coming to Indy."
On Nov. 16, the NCAA and City of Indianapolis announced preliminary plans to host the tournament.
“We have learned so much from monitoring other successful sporting events in the last several months, and it became clear it’s not feasible to manage this complex championship in so many different states with the challenges presented by the pandemic,” Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball, said in November. “However, we are developing a solid plan to present a safe, responsible and fantastic March Madness tournament unlike any other we’ve experienced.”
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett added at the time in a statement that he was confident the city could pull off hosting the tournament.
“Indianapolis has a reputation for hosting the most successful major sporting events in the country – including eight Final Fours," Hogsett said in November. "Our city also boasts some of the nation’s top public health professionals, whose expertise will be crucial in planning for a safe tournament. We are confident that, thanks to the collaboration of our city’s civic organizations and the strength of our hospitality industry, Indianapolis can rise to this challenge. We look forward to continued conversations with the NCAA.”
This story originally reported by Daniel Bradley and Rafael Sánchez on WRTV.com.
Watch the NCAA's announcement below: