The Superdome in New Orleans hosted the 2012 Final Four (Getty Images)
Sixteen years after the Final Four last took place in anything besides cavernous domed football stadiums, the NCAA has apparently begun looking into more intimate venues for its showcase basketball event.
ESPN.com reported Thursday night that the NCAA and the men's basketball selection committee have discussed the possibility of playing the Final Four in an arena in a major metropolitan city. Such a move couldn't happen until at least 2017 because the next four Final Fours are booked for domes in Atlanta, Arlington, Indianapolis and Houston.
The upside to going back to arenas would be that the more intimate setting is more conducive to basketball and would give the NCAA greater ability to host the event in destination cities like Los Angeles or New York. Of course, the downside would be that as much as 50,000 fewer tickets would be available to the general public, sending prices skyrocketing.
To get a better idea how players might feel about such a change, Yahoo! Sports spoke to four guys who have played in Final Fours about the topic. Ex-Kentucky guard Jeff Sheppard, ex-Michigan State forward A.J. Granger, former VCU guard Joey Rodriguez and current Butler center Andrew Smith each weigh in on that topic below.
The NCAA is considering having NBA-style arenas host the Final Four in the future rather than domed football stadiums. Do you have a preference?
SHEPPARD: I lean toward the big venues. I think the Final Four is a special event, and what makes it so special is it being in a football stadium with the bright lights on you. I've always told people it's different playing in the Final Four, different even than playing in the other rounds of the NCAA tournament or in the SEC tournament. I think that's good. I think it helps the event. Also, there are obvious reasons for fans to want to keep it at the bigger arena because they get to get in. It's easier to get a ticket. I can't imagine what kind of price tag they'd put on tickets if they go from 80,000 seats to 20,000. So I'm all for keeping it in the big domes. I love the atmosphere it creates.
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