Nashville chosen as host city for NCAA Women’s Final Four tournament

Nashville chosen as host city for NCAA Women's Final Four tournament (Image 1)

The road to the next women's final four basketball tournament ends at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

In 2008, the city won the bid to host the tournament in 2014.

Since then, local organizers have been working to get the city ready for a week-long celebration of women and basketball.

It will be Nashville's first time to host the NCAA Women's Final Four.

The basketball tournament, held next April, generates and average of 20 to 25 million dollars over a five-day period.

Local organizers expect Nashville's revenues to be greater.

“As you've seen Nashville explode, what a great destination city. People are coming to town; it's an easy place by car. I'm thinking 25 to 30 million minimum,” said Gary Alexander with the Nashville Sports Council.

Nashville has submitted bids in the past, but was never selected.

The opening of the new Music City Center to host the Women's Basketball Coaches Association convention of 2,000 coaches and 3,000 attendees put Nashville in the game.

Plus, the nearby Omni Hotel, set to open this fall, offers support for the conventions activities.

Both the convention center and hotel are conveniently located just blocks from the Bridgestone Arena as well as downtown restaurants and music venues, making the city an ideal candidate.

“They'll enjoy all the activities downtown and never have to get in their car,” Alexander explained.

However, dollars and cents may be the smallest impact of the Women's Final Four.

“It leaves programming for young people to be involved in the community, leadership programming, and health and wellness education, just an understanding of the value of higher education for the students,” said Beth DeBauche, the Commissioner for the Ohio Valley Conference.

Nashville has raised over 2.7 million dollars to pay for the event. Organizers said they need more money, and fundraising continues.

The Nashville Sports Council is also recruiting volunteers. They need around 1,500 people.

“This is an opportunity for Nashvillians to touch one of the greatest events that goes anywhere,” Alexander said.

Tickets go on sale this fall from the NCAA, and anyone interested can get on the list to purchase them. Last year, the three games cost $200 per ticket.

To sign up for tickets, visit NCAA's Web site.

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