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Weekend success boosts confidence in more SA Final Four events

The question is, will the Alamodome hold up against newer stadiums

San Antonio's Final Four presentation is getting rave reviews.

Mid weekend, ESPN analyst Peter Burns tweeted: "There are a few things that need to be written into law when it comes to sports championship locations. The Super Bowl should never go 4 years without being in New Orleans. The final four should never go 4 years without being in San Antonio."

Villanova head coach Jay Wright tweeted: "Thank you San Antonio and SAPD. Your hospitality, friendship and support made this the best final four ever!"

"It's all been so positive. It's been very rewarding. None of this was an accident. There was a lot of planning that went into this," said Mary Ullmann Japhet with San Antonio Sports.

Ullmann Japhet said recent renovations played a big part. 

That $60 million renovation included updates to the WiFi, technology lighting, sound, and doubled the size of the west and the east concourses. 

The question remains: Are these upgrades to a 25-year-old building enough to compete with brand new stadiums in places like Minneapolis and Atlanta?

"We worked very closely with the NCAA to see what their needs were. If they tell us, hey we need a little bit more of this a little bit more of that we're certainly going to discuss that, no doubt about it," said Alamodome general manager Nick Langella.

He said the dome only has 52 permanent suites. He added temporary suites this weekend to equal 66. An NCAA spokesperson said they don't have a minimum suite requirement but older stadiums have far fewer suites than newer stadiums.

Those numbers don't seem to phase Langella, who said he'll adjust to future requests. 

He would need to, since San Antonio is currently bidding for the women's Final Four in 2021 and the men's in 2025 and 2026. They should hear back about the women's tournament in the fall, and the men's tournament not long after a July presentation.

He and Ullmann Japhet believe the city's walkability, weather and personality far outweigh the dome's age.

"People can come in from the airport, get out of the vehicle and never have to get in one again if they didn't want to. It is entirely walkable and that makes the whole experience easy and enjoyable," Ullmann Japhet said.

"It couldn't have gone any better and I would say it's going to be difficult for them not to come back to San Antonio," Langella said.


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