A blend of previous and first time host cities have been chosen as sites for the NCAA Women’s Final Four from 2017 through 2020.
Cities and hosts tabbed for the future Women’s Final Fours are:
• 2017 – American Airlines Center, Dallas (Big 12 Conference, host)
• 2018 – Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State, host)
• 2019 – Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fla. (South Florida, host)
• 2020 – Smoothie King Center, New Orleans (New Orleans, Tulane and Sun Belt Conference, hosts)
The cities were selected by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, with approval by the Administrative Committee of the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet.
Dallas and Columbus will play host to the Women’s Final Four for the first time in women’s basketball championship history. Games will be played March 31 and April 2, 2017, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, while Nationwide Arena in Columbus will serve as the site for the 2018 Women’s Final Four on March 30 and April 1. The games in Texas will mark the fifth time that the Women’s Final Four will be played in the state, with San Antonio hosting in 2002 and 2010 and Austin in 1985 and 1987. The 2018 games in Columbus will mark the third time that the Women’s Final Four is played in Ohio, with Cincinnati (1997) and Cleveland (2007) hosting previously.
Tampa, which is readying to host the 2015 Women’s Final Four on April 5 and 7, will host for a third time in 2019. Tampa also was host in 2008. Games in 2019 will be played at Amalie Arena on April 5 and 7.
New Orleans will host the Women’s Final Four for a record fourth time in 2020, with games played April 3 and 5 at the Smoothie King Center. The arena previously hosted national championships in 2004 and 2013. The 1991 Women’s Final Four was played in the UNO Lakefront Arena.
“The past 15 months of the selection process resulted in four deserving cities being chosen to host the marquee event of our sport, the Women’s Final Four,” said Dru Hancock, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and senior associate commissioner at the Big 12 Conference. “We appreciate all of the cities and local organizing committees that participated in the process. Dallas, Columbus, Tampa Bay and New Orleans each demonstrated that they will continue to raise the bar on the event while enhancing the experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans. We look forward to our work together as we continue to build this important event.”
Cities chosen to host the Women’s Final Four in 2017-20 were voted on by eight of the 10 members of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, with Hancock and Brad Walker (Ohio Valley Conference) excused from voting due to participation with two of the finalist bid cities, Dallas and Nashville, respectively.
In addition to Tampa hosting the Women’s Final Four in 2015, Indianapolis will host the 2016 Women’s Final Four on April 3 and 5 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the Horizon League serving as the hosts. 2016 will serve as a celebration of the game, with the Divisions II and III Women’s Basketball Championships also playing their respective national championship games in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 4.
The 2016-17 season that culminates with the Women’s Final Four in Dallas will mark the first year since 2003 that the Women's Final Four will be played on Friday / Sunday instead of Sunday / Tuesday. That will align the championship with the preliminary rounds which will be played Friday / Sunday and Saturday / Monday starting in 2015.