SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio has not hosted an NCAA Men's Final Four since 2008, but city officials hope a free public river rally Wednesday can be the first step towards securing college basketball's premier event once again in the Alamo City.
Members of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Committee and staff are in San Antonio conducting a site visit for the 2017 to 2020 Men's Final Four bid cycle.
The first stop on their visit was a surprise ride on a barge at the Rivercenter Mall Lagoon, where hundreds of cheering fans, the UTSA Band and cheerleaders chanted "Bring It."
At least one member of the committee was impressed.
"I think what San Antonio offers in terms of the fan and the student-athlete experience outside the venue is incredible," Scott Barnes of site selection committee said. "It's even become more important, I think, to our committee members that that play a role. And then certainly inside the venue, again, I think the things that we've asked to be addressed are certainly being addressed."
City officials said the rally is a unique opportunity to show the NCAA delegation what an incredible atmosphere San Antonio offers on the River Walk during a Final Four.
A decision is expected to be made in November.