Marriott International is readying its game face for the second year as the Official Hotel Partner across all 90 NCAA® championships. This month tips off March Madness®, with the Men’s Final Four® in San Antonio March 31-April 2, and the Women’s Final Four® in Columbus March 30 – April 1. The multi-year partnership with Marriott International, NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports kicked-off last year with major success as the hotel’s vibrant portfolio played host to the college sports fan community venturing across the country in search of comradery and sweet victory.
Whether it is recharging after a big game or celebrating in style, Marriott International provides a range of hotel options in the most exciting cities and creates an immersive fan experience beyond the final score. This year, Marriott International highlights an all-star roster of hotels in destinations like Nashville, Los Angeles, Detroit and Boston.
“The Marriott International family shares the same passion for collegiate sports with students, alumni, athletes and fans nationwide,” said Steve Heitzner, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Marriott International, Americas. “We are excited to be on this journey with NCAA fans, from tip off to the final buzzer, providing a range of accommodations and experiences in every destination leading up to the big games.”
“This is an exciting time for our basketball teams and their colleges, and it is especially exciting for the fans who will travel to NCAA tournament sites to watch the games,” said Ellen Lucey, director of championships and alliances, NCAA corporate relations, marketing and branding. “Our NCAA corporate partner Marriott International is rolling out the red carpet to fans as they celebrate their teams and get into the excitement of March Madness. Marriott has a powerful brand and we’re pleased that the company is supportive of our tournament, student-athlete accomplishments and our member colleges and universities.”
As fans build out their brackets and teams spring into action, here’s an all-access preview of destinations hosting some of the biggest games in college sports.
San Antonio, Texas is known lovingly by locals as “San Antone.” This laid-back Texas city is a welcoming destination with three centuries of epic tales. Every corner of the historic downtown unveils a surprise: the limestone façade of the Alamo, the garden-bordered pathways of the River Walk, and captivating theaters both on river and street level. Within walking distance to it all is The St. Anthony, a Luxury Collection Hotel. This Texas-sized jewel is designated as a national historic landmark and has been fully renovated to offer the grace, style and service of a bygone era. San Antonio also features an active artist community and rich culture.
Columbus, Ohio is preparing to host the Women’s Final Four®. In the year of the women, the 2018 games will be ones to remember. The Short North Arts District is close to the action, complete with trademark brick-lined streets, alleyways and historic buildings, which is welcoming a new crop of boutiques, restaurants, galleries and nightlife. Nestled in the neighborhood is the Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph, complete with compelling cuisine at the Guild House and a world-class art partnership at Pizzuti Collection. From Columbus College of Art and Design to the Ohio Made Market, Columbus is fostering creative talent like never before. Foodies unite in Clintonville, North Market and German Village where the emphasis is on regional fare and international cuisine.
Detroit, Michigan is home to the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, a centerpiece of the ever-evolving Motor City with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Riverfront. Home to some of the best new restaurants in the country, let the Motown Museum set the soundtrack for sight-seeing, be it by The QLine streetcar or MoGo, the city’s bike share program. Expect a weekend of art at the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, creative food throughout the city, auto history and architectural tours.
Nashville, Tennessee is Music City, and a wellspring for the creative set launching both country music stars and a major tourism boom. The Renaissance Nashville Hotel is tailor-made for college basketball fans with The Bridge, featuring big games on eight 60-inch HD LCD screens. Tune into live music 365 in nano-neighborhoods like Printers Alley and kick up your boots at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Los Angeles, California is the nation’s second largest city and is a bona fide culinary and cultural hub with museum heavyweights with the likes of The Broad and The Marciano Art Foundation. Just minutes from Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica beaches, W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills has all the details for a starlet-approved hideaway with the be-seen Living Room, the chic steakhouse STK LA, and poolside cabanas which are front row to star-gazing. Keep the Hollywood vibe going at a Warner Bros tour, The Grove and do as the locals do: Book your spin at Cycle.
Omaha, Nebraska is experiencing a new wave of artisan shops and kickback eateries in one of the splashiest neighborhoods along the Missouri riverfront. The energetic Midtown Crossing is home to the sleek Element Omaha Midtown Crossing featuring modern studios and suites. This come-as-you-are city was made for sports fans, collectively opening their warm Midwestern arms to tourists. On the Big O must list: A stop on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, and go for seconds at the top steakhouses.
Atlanta, Georgia is known as The Hollywood of the South and will be readying for its close-up this year. The capital city isn’t just for Southern belles; top-tier chefs are creating masterpieces all over town and sports fans can check off a bucket-list visit to the College Football Hall of Fame. And, just 16 miles outside of the city center is the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort, an urban respite to reboot from the urban pace. Set amid natural beauty of Stone Mountain Park with golfing and hiking, the lodge-inspired resort is destination-worthy sports scene.
Boston, Massachusetts is home to many proud and prideful residents. This city continues to hone its Boston Strong persona for both visitors as well as the collegiate set. With extended-stay suites geared toward families, Residence Inn Boston Downtown/Seaport is at the heart of the action, a quick jaunt to the Seaport World Trade Center and Financial District. College basketball fans will be able to check out all of the games while enjoying the conveniences that make travel a pleasure. Nearby, refashioned “Southie” is home to The Institute of Contemporary Art, an architectural stunner on the waterfront.
San Diego, California has moved beyond fish tacos, yet the endless summer vibe shines through at The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. After an evening in the Gaslamp Quarter, return to guest rooms and suites designed for optimum renewal. Wake up to natural light flooding through the windows and with coffee in hand, get ready to go beyond the beach. Meander to Little Italy and then taste your way through North Park.
About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,500 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 127 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a diverse association of more than 1,100-member colleges and universities that prioritize academics, well-being and fairness to create greater opportunities for nearly half a million student-athletes each year. The NCAA provides a pathway to higher education and beyond for student-athletes pursuing academic goals and competing in NCAA sports. More than 54,000 student-athletes experience the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics by competing in NCAA championships each year. Visit ncaa.org and ncaa.com for more details about the Association and the corporate partnerships that support the NCAA and its student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola as official corporate champions and the following elite companies as official corporate partners: Amazon Echo, Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Enterprise, Google Cloud, Infiniti, Intel, Lowe’s, Marriott International, Nabisco, Northwestern Mutual, Pizza Hut, Reese’s, Unilever and Wendy’s.