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Vol. 53, No. 2 • January 2016 • .pdf version
This Final Four, writers will be housed in downtown Houston
Writers should have a better experience covering this year's Final Four in Houston than the last time the event was held in that city, especially when it comes to hotel accommodations.
The media hotels selected by the NCAA are far more acceptable this time than what was chosen when the Final Four was last held in Houston in 2011.
Living conditions at the hotel were less than ideal then, but the biggest complaint was that the hotel was located miles away from downtown Houston. The media hotel was close to the stadium but little else, including restaurants, was within walking distance.
This time, the NCAA has arranged to have two media hotels in downtown Houston, located just minutes from the NCAA headquarters hotel (Downtown Hyatt) and coaches' hotel (Hilton Americas).
Two Marriott properties have been designated as media hotels: The Residence Inn Houston Downtown and the Courtyard Houston Downtown. Room rates are $242 per night, plus tax. There will also be a third media hotel – a new Holiday Inn downtown – that the NCAA will likely hold for media covering the teams.
The Downtown Hyatt will be the site for the USBWA's annual awards luncheon on the Monday of the championship game, and the association's meeting with the NCAA basketball committee on semifinal Saturday.
The NCAA will have a shuttle from both airports in Houston to the media hotels and from the media hotels to the stadium. People can also take the train if they'd like. There is a stop near the media hotels, and it takes you to the stadium. It costs less than two dollars. Both the shuttle and the train take about one-half hour to get to the stadium.
Credential applications for all rounds of the tournament can be made by going to www.ncaa.com/media. Applying for parking and a hotel room should be done during the credential application process.
The NCAA will continue to have a media party on Thursday night, with details still to come. There will be an open bar and a wide variety of food options, with top chefs from around the city preparing food for the party.
The USBWA will have two events at NRG Stadium – a news conference on Friday at 10:15 a.m. to present the Oscar Robertson Trophy to the national player of the year and a writing workshop at 9 a.m. in the stadium press box.
The NCAA announced that the media's mock selection seminar will take place Feb. 12-13 at the NCAA national office. Those who are interested in attending should contact Dave Worlock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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