INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The NCAA said Wednesday that the first- and second-round men’s basketball playoff games set for a Cincinnati venue in March 2022 will be moved to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Brett Kramer, public relations manager for nonprofit sports commission, shared the NCAA statement with News 8: “NCAA March Madness games scheduled for Cincinnati in 2022 are being moved to Indianapolis to allow more time for the newly-renamed Heritage Bank Center to complete current and future planned renovations. These first- and second-round Division I men’s basketball championship games will now be played at Banker’s (sic) Life Fieldhouse, and Cincinnati will have the opportunity to bid on hosting future March Madness rounds.”
Cincinnati’s Heritage Bank Center was lamenting the loss, telling a Cincinnati business journal in a statement, ““We are extremely disappointed; however, we must respect the NCAA’s decision to bypass Cincinnati for the March 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.”
“We have had several conversations with NCAA officials on the requirements necessary to host the Tournament. We communicated in person, including a tour of the facility where the conversation centered on our ability for the venue to do a partial renovation adding locker rooms, media and hospitality areas if a full renovation could not be completed by the midpoint of 2021. This renovation plan was set to begin in the spring and summer of 2020. Unfortunately, the NCAA recently expressed they were postponing our hosting of the Tournament until a total renovation of the facility could be completed.
“The city of Cincinnati and the region deserve to have an event of this magnitude and this will only intensify our efforts in working to come to an agreement to fully renovate this facility. We will continue to work with the local NCAA institutions, Convention and Visitors Bureau and community leaders in doing what is necessary to secure other future NCAA Events as part of the 2023-2026 bid process.”
Lucas Oil Stadium will host the 2021 and 2026 NCAA Final Fours.