Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

How ASU is helping to host the Final Four

The University is nearing the culmination of nearly a decade of work prior to hosting the 2024 Men's Final Four

 Senior Reporter-ASU-Connection-Final-Four.jpg

One of the Final Four basketballs sitting on the court at the University of Phoenix Stadium with the Gonzaga men's basketball team practicing in the back on Friday, May 31, 2017.

March Madness will end with confetti, tears of joy and inevitable heartbreak. That unforgettable moment is the culmination of nearly a decade of ASU's planning.

ASU is the host university for the 2024 Men’s Final Four. While the Sun Devils didn’t make the tournament, the University will be tasked with helping run the event alongside other Arizona-based organizations. 

Phoenix was selected over six other finalists vying for the host role. It took a collaborative effort between the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Local Organizing Committee, tourism offices and municipalities to win the bid. 

ASU was named the host for this year’s Final Four back in 2018, and the decision was made public over a year after Phoenix had hosted the Final Four in 2017. 

"This is a landmark day for ASU to host the iconic event for the second time,” former athletic director Ray Anderson said after the NCAA’s announcement in 2018. “We learned many useful lessons in 2017 and will apply our trademark innovation to provide an unforgettable experience for the NCAA, student-athletes, alumni and fans. We promise another amazing effort from the Sun Devil community and will shine again in 2024."

Anderson contributed to winning hosting rights due to his role as a board member of the PLOC, an Arizona-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. He will also be involved in this year’s tournament, despite resigning as athletic director last year.

READ MORE: Ray Anderson is representing ASU at NCAA Final Four despite resignation

The PLOC was involved in hosting the 2017 Final Four and the 2015 and 2023 Super Bowls, all of which were held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

“One key difference: the 2024 Men’s Final Four will have four teams and two game days – the national semifinals on Saturday, April 6, and the national championship on Monday, April 8,” PLOC CEO Jay Parry said. “We’re grateful to the NCAA for entrusting Phoenix with its crown jewel for the second time in seven years.”

Yet, some things are hardly changing from the Super Bowl to the Final Four. Parry said hosting both events is similar due to their location at State Farm Stadium and the fan events held in downtown Phoenix.

The PLOC is relying on many staff members who were involved in hosting last year’s Super Bowl. Parry said staff continuity is “very helpful for consistency and elevating results.” Like ASU, the PLOC will collaborate with the Valley's public and private sector supporters.

The University started preparing for hosting responsibilities on ASU's side by sending two athletics department officials to last year’s Final Four in Houston.

J.D. Loudabarger, the associate athletic director of athletic operations and facilities, and Mike Chismar, the senior associate AD for operations and facilities, toured the event to take notes on what to do when hosting this year’s edition, and the duo took note of both elements that had changed and stayed the same since ASU last hosted the Final Four. 

Based on their observations, the University has planned out who and what it needs to run the Final Four smoothly. The University will need to let teams use Desert Financial Arena and the Weatherup Center as practice facilities, and execute seemingly simple tasks like running the shot and game clocks. 

ASU will have 25 to 30 Sun Devil Athletics employees working the Final Four, according to an ASU spokesperson. The University will also allow select ASU students to build their resumes by working at the event.

An advertisement for the upcoming NCAA Men's Final Four tournament at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions is expected to send 50 to 75 students to the Final Four. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will send six students to cover the Final Four and 30 to work at the media hotel. W.P. Carey School of Business students can learn about bidding and hosting the tournament in ASU's Final Four Experience class. 

READ MORE: How to access free student tickets to the men's Final Four fan fest

Perhaps the most seen Sun Devils at the Final Four will be roughly 30 student veterans who will carry flags for the four teams at State Farm Stadium and are allowed to bring a family member or fellow veteran. 

By tip-off, years of work will boil down to three 40-minute games. Four teams will face off on a court marked with desert motifs and the Final Four’s iconic catchphrase: The Road Ends Here. 

"We pursued it, we worked with community leaders, and we're happy to be the host," University President Michael Crow said. "The NCAA really runs the tournament and builds the venue and makes things happen. It's exciting that it can be here and the weather stays like this, I mean, it's fantastic."

Edited by Walker Smith, Sadie Buggle and Shane Brennan

Reach the reporter at and follow @jackcbarron on Twitter. 

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.