NCAA Final Four coming to Big 12 country twice in coming years

Texas and Big 12 country will continue to be a player in men’s Final Four sites with Wednesday’s announcement that Arlington and Houston will receive college basketball’s crown jewel.

The NCAA said that Cowboys Stadium in Arlington will be the site of the 2014 Final Four, and Reliant Stadium in Houston will get the event in 2016.

San Antonio played host to last season’s Final Four, won by Kansas.

Other Final Fours were awarded to the Superdome in New Orleans in 2012, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in 2013 and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in 2015.

Common to the winning bids: All stadiums house NFL teams and their seating capacity is 70,000 or can be configured to seat at least that many.

“Now, and for the foreseeable future, we’ll have at least 70,000 fans in the venue and tens of thousands more visitors in the host cities to experience the atmosphere and events that accompany the three basketball games,” NCAA President Myles Brand said. “It is a wonderful spectacle that continues to grow into one of the world’s premier sporting events.”

Cities whose bids were not accepted: Detroit, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Phoenix/Glendale and St. Louis.

This season’s Final Four will be held at Ford Field in Detroit, with Indianapolis slated for 2010 and Houston in 2011.

Kansas City will be the site of a men’s first- and second-round event in March.