March 19, 2013
Georgia Dome, Credit: GWCC
Georgia Dome, Credit: GWCC

The road to Atlanta begins on Thursday as the NCAA kicks off its 75th celebration of March Madness. More than 100,000 fans will flock to Atlanta for NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend, April 5-8, 2013.

“It’s no accident that we selected Atlanta for our 75th celebration,” said Mike Bobinski, chairman, Division I Men’s Basketball Committee for the NCAA. “Atlanta has such a rich sporting history and a rich cultural history. It’s got the depth and diversity that really mirrors our event in so many ways, which made it the perfect choice to host the 75th celebration of March Madness.”

The weekend marks the fourth time Atlanta has hosted the NCAA Men’s Final Four, building on the city’s strong reputation for hosting marquis celebrations. Organizers expect attendance for the weekend will rank in the top five all-time crowds in the history of the Big Dance.

For the first time, all 74,000 seats will open at the Georgia Dome for the Final Four. Atlanta will also be the first city in NCAA history to host basketball on all three days of Final Four weekend with the Division II and III championship games taking place at Philips Arena.

“Atlanta has the ability to host big time events, a community to support them, and the infrastructure in place to run them in a really effective way,” said Bobinski.

The weekend is estimated to generate $70 million in economic impact.  NCAA Final Four activities will utilize several venues just steps away from the Georgia Dome, including a fan fest at Georgia World Congress Center and a free concert series in Centennial Olympic Park with headliners including Sting, Dave Matthews Band and Muse.

“Atlanta is an ideal city in which to host big stage events,” said William Pate, president and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are honored to host the 75th anniversary of the NCAA Men’s Final Four tournament and we are looking forward to an outstanding weekend of championship basketball.

Celebrating 100 years of hospitality, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, nonprofit organization created to favorably impact the Atlanta economy through conventions and tourism.