Another Gavitt -- Dave's son Dan -- lording over NCAA tournament
Mark Lewis, my boss at the NCAA, raised the issue over the summer of whether we should consider taking the Final Four back to a traditional basketball arena, and I think the men's basketball committee will have that discussion. Of course it's fraught will all sorts of logistical issues, but I think it's a conversation worth having, in order to protect the game, as the committee is charged with doing.
And I look at our regional rounds as opportunities where we could grow the tournament and the game as well. There are 13 sites before you get to the Final Four, and they're not all sold out every year. We get great crowds in some places, but not all of them. This year we're going to be in the Staples Center in Los Angeles and in the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., two places we haven't had regionals in either forever or a really long time. And there are other locations that the NCAA tournament hasn't been to in quite some time, or ever, that we need to seriously consider.
Would it be time at some point to expand beyond that? It's a loaded question, and I don't know the answer to it, but I think we need to be vigilant in considering it. I wouldn't be opposed to that discussion.
But one thing, as we're just coming out of the election, that I've been thinking about is how democratic, with a small d, that this event has become. In what other sporting event can you talk about the royalty -- the John Woodens, all the great UCLA teams and Carolina teams, you name it -- in the same breath with schools like Butler, VCU and Norfolk State, or players like Bryce Drew?
It's truly a democratic event from that perspective, in that it keeps getting bigger and bigger, from one coast to the other, from big schools to small. Fans in almost every area of the country, over the past 75 years, have been able to celebrate the magic of a March Madness run. It's an event where just a few great weekends can turn someone into a legend.