Safe Bet: Vegas set to bid to host numerous NCAA events

NEW YORK (AP) — Las Vegas is set to bid on nearly a half dozen different NCAA championship events, including women’s basketball.

The NCAA will start accepting bids Monday on nearly two dozen sports championships over all three divisions. This is the first year that Las Vegas is eligible to bid after the governing body for college sports indefinitely suspended a ban last year that prevented events from being hosted in states that accept wagers on single games.

George Kliavkoff, who is MGM’s President of Entertainment and Sports, told The Associated Press last week that his group — in conjunction with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority — plan on bidding to host the women’s basketball regional, as well as at least five other sports. Other sports that Las Vegas would be interested in for the 2023-26 seasons include the Frozen Four, wrestling and women’s volleyball championships. The Nevada city is expected to put in bids for all of those events.

The NCAA women’s basketball committee suggested changing the format for the women’s basketball regionals starting in 2023 by having two cities host eight teams each in the Sweet 16, instead of having four sites. Las Vegas would have no problems hosting eight teams and their fans in the new format.

While the men’s basketball Final Four isn’t in this bid cycle, regionals are available from 2023-26. The men’s basketball committee visited Las Vegas earlier this year and toured the new Oakland Raiders football stadium that will be ready next year.

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