Mark your calendars.
The NCAA Women’s Final Four is heading back to New Orleans in 2020. The city will host the pinnacle of women’s college basketball for a record fourth time.
The host committee is guaranteeing a “Party of Four like the NCAA has never experienced.”
“We’ve got a long time to prepare, so we’re going to work on it,” said Tulane women’s basketball coach Lisa Stockton, whose school is the co-host along with UNO. “I’m very excited to again, have this event back in our city. It’s a positive not only for women’s basketball, but also our city.”
Dallas (2017) and Columbus, Ohio (’18), also earned bids to host the national semifinals and finals, along with Tampa (’19), which is already hosting the ’15 Women’s Final Four. In 2016, Indianapolis will host the event.
Seven cities were considered as hosts for the 2017-20 bid cycle, including Houston, Nashville and Pittsburgh.
“We appreciate the continued confidence and trust that the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee and staff have in our ability to host their marquee event,” said Kim Boyle, chairwoman of the New Orleans Local Organizing Committee. “And we promise to continue raising the bar for other host cities.”
New Orleans has previously hosted the event in 1991 (Lakefront Arena), as well as in 2004 and 2013 (New Orleans Arena), where Connecticut defeated Louisville for the national championship.
The 2020 Women’s Final Four will be held in the Smoothie King Center.
LSU women’s basketball coach Nikki Caldwell was a member of the 1991 Tennessee team that won the national title,
“I have great memories of New Orleans,” she said. “You have a vision for your team, and to play in a Final Four in your home state would be something special.”
In recent years, the Women’s Final Four, like other major U.S. sporting events, has transformed from a game or series of games to a week of activities, including youth clinics involving the WNBA, fan festivals to celebrity All-Star games.
The citywide effort involved every major sports organization in the city, including Tulane, UNO, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, Sun Belt Conference, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau and SMG/Smoothie King Center.
It comes after a failed bid for the Men’s Final Four; local officials were hoping for the 2017 event. Their next opportunity for a Men’s Final Four will be in 2022.