As Villanova fans take turns getting selfies with the NCAA Championship trophy, and 93,000 Final Four visitors begin to head out of town, the general feeling is that San Antonio's handling of the 2018 Final Four, the second biggest event in sports behind the Super Bowl was extraordinary., News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"It’s so much fun to hear people, to eavesdrop on people, as they say, 'it should be in San Antonio every year, or every other year, or ever four years'," Mary Japhet of SA Sports, the core of the local organizing committee, told News Radio 1200 WOAI.
Jenny Carnes, the CEO of the Local Organizing Committee, says San Antonio shone at the right time. She says later this spring, the NCAA will meet to decide the location of Final Fours in the coming decade, and she expects their pleasant weekend in San Antonio will be top of mind for the delegates.
"We've heard all good things, not just from the NCAA and the committee and the staff, but from the entire membership and the coaches and everybody," she said. "’ been a great weekend, it’s been a great event, it’s been a great experience."
Japhet says part of San Antonio's appeal is not just the games at the newly upgraded Alamodome, but the side events, from the Final Four Music Festival to the Fan Fest at the Convention Center, to turning Commerce Street into a 'midway,' complete with a Ferris Wheel.
"I am so proud of our city, I am so proud of our staff, I am so proud of our 3,000 volunteers," Japhet said.
And then there's the weather. At a time when many residents of Michigan, Illinois, and Philadelphia were digging out of early spring blizzards, Japhet says the fact that they could turn on their TVs and see San Antonio with sunny skies and temperatures in the eighties was priceless.
And Carnes says the Alamodome, fresh off its $60 million facelift and sporting huge new high definition monitors, was a winner as well.
"I don't think there's been a bigger event in the dome, possibly other than George Strait a couple of years ago," she said. "But as far as a sporting event, this is the biggest one we've ever done."
And Japhet says the city also is a fun and unique place to visit and to host major events like this.
"We enjoy sharing out culture with the world, and this has been a wonderful way, a very positive way to do just that."