Proceeds from the program will benefit both the United Way’s Central Indiana COVID-19 Recovery and Rebound effort and Hilinski’s Hope, a national nonprofit promoting awareness and education of student-athlete mental health and wellness.
Cutouts at the Final Four will be interspersed with limited fan seating available for the games. Last month, the NCAA announced that Lucas Oil Stadium and other March Madness venues could host up to 25% fan capacity with physical distancing. The decision was made in conjunction with state and local health authorities.
FULL SCHEDULE: See the complete 2021 March Madness dates and times
“As we seek to continue to engage fans during the Men’s Final Four, we want to make an impact beyond improving the atmosphere in the venue,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “Each purchase supports an important cause, whether locally with COVID-19 relief in Central Indiana or nationally by supporting mental health initiatives for student-athletes across the country. It’s another opportunity for us to think creatively and provide a meaningful experience during this historic event.”
Cutouts will be featured inside Lucas Oil Stadium for the Final Four semifinal games and the national championship game. Sales begin today and conclude Tuesday, March 16. Cutouts cost $100 and can be purchased at ncaa.com/finalfour.
For an additional fee, fans can also choose to ship the cutouts home afterward to keep as a memento. Any cutouts that are not purchased will be recycled after the event.
“We are honored to be selected for the Final Four fan cutout program,” said Ann D. Murtlow, president and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana. “From the outset of the pandemic in Indiana, we convened our trusted partners to establish the first significant COVID-19 relief fund in the country to help meet the urgent needs of children, families and individuals who were so deeply affected. Today, as we slowly emerge from crisis, we are grateful to the NCAA and its fans for playing a significant role in the continued recovery and rebound of Central Indiana.”
“Hilinski’s Hope is incredibly humbled to be involved with March Madness,” said Mark Hilinski, co-founder of Hilinski’s Hope in the name of his son Tyler after the Washington State student-athlete died by suicide in 2018. “Every day we fight to save lives and eliminate stigma by providing resources and mental wellness programs for student-athletes around the country. Any way that we can make an impact and change lives, we will. March Madness was something Tyler loved — the energy, the passion, the teamwork — and we are so honored to be involved with this year’s tournament as we continue to honor Tyler, his legacy and the importance of mental wellness.”