Tulane set to host 2022 Final Four in Superdome

Jude Papillion, Sports Editor

With March Madness looming on the horizon, local organizers are putting final preparations in place for the 2022 Final Four. (Gabe Darley)

Tulane University and the University of New Orleans are set to serve as host institutions for the NCAA’s 2022 Men’s Final Four this April. This edition of the Final Four will be the sixth time the City of New Orleans has hosted college basketball’s championship and the first time the Final Four has come to the Crescent City since 2012. 

The Final Four will tip off with two games on Saturday, Apr. 2, followed by the championship game on Monday, April 4. All games will be played in the recently refurbished Caesars Superdome

The Final Four returns to New Orleans after the city has been plagued by COVID-19 surges since early 2020 and as the city still recovers from the impact of Hurricane Ida last August. 

The local area saw a total economic impact of $168 million during 2012’s Final Four, welcoming over 75,000 traveling fans and booking a total of 229,863 hotel room nights as a result of the event. 

“Obviously, this is a huge deal for our economy,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “It’s coming at exactly the right time, coming off the storm and out of the pandemic.” 

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell echoed Edwards’ sentiment and is looking forward to the city’s opportunity to once again host the biggest stage in college basketball. “Our hospitality industry has taken it on the chin, our cultural ambassadors [have], as well, but we are back and are ready to not only host this event but to move this city forward in ways that we have never seen before.” 

Several of the Final Four’s local organizers have worked to put on the event in past years. Co-chair of the local host committee and Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen said, “This would not be a good year for someone to be hosting their first Final Four. It’s a blessing for all of us that it is in New Orleans and that experience is there to make sure this event is run the way that we run events here.”

New Orleanians are no strangers when it comes to hosting events, and the Final Four will bring more to the city than championship basketball. The Final Four is hosting a four-day weekend that will include free public events such as a dribble parade, a fan festival at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, a music festival in Woldenberg Park, a tailgate festival in Champions Square and a college all-star game in the Superdome. 

This is the first time the Big Easy has hosted the tournament in 10 years, when Anthony Davis led the Kentucky Wildcats to their eighth national championship. This year’s Final Four will also mark the 40th anniversary of the 1982 event, also hosted at the Superdome, when Michael Jordan led the North Carolina Tarheels to a title over Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas.

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