November 23, 2022
NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee announces Final Four sites for 2027 through 2031
Portland will host its first Final Four in 2030
On Tuesday, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee revealed the hosts for the 2027 through 2031 Final Fours.
Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, will host in 2027; Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis will host in 2028; the Alamodome in San Antonio will host in 2029; the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, will host in 2030; and American Airlines Arena in Dallas will host in 2031.
Of the five newly announced host cities, Portland is the only one to have never hosted a Final Four. The city was supposed to host a regional in 2020 before that tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also be the first time the Final Four will take place in Oregon.
“The Women’s Final Four is the premier women’s basketball event in the country, and it’s exciting to see the unprecedented amount of interest from cities to host in the future,” Lisa Peterson, the chair of the committee and senior associate commissioner for sports management with the Pac-12 conference, said in a press release. “The committee appreciates all the cities involved in the highly competitive bid process. When we crown a national champion in selected cities, our student-athletes, coaches and fans will have enjoyed an amazing championship experience.”
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Columbus will host the Final Four for the second time. The first came in 2018 when Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale sunk buzzer-beating shots in the semifinal and the championship game to send the Irish home with their second national title.
Indianapolis will host the Final Four for the fourth time. The last time it hosted, in 2016, UConn became the first school to win a fourth straight championship, completing a 38-0 season.
San Antonio will also host for the fourth time. Most recently, the Alamodome was home to the 2021 Final Four, and the entire tournament took place in the city because of the pandemic. Stanford held off Pac-12 rival Arizona to hoist the championship trophy for the third time.
Dallas, also the host of the 2023 Final Four, last hosted in 2017, when Mississippi State took down UConn, 66-64, in the national semifinals, snapping the Huskies’ 111-game winning streak. The Bulldogs then came up short against South Carolina in the championship game. It was the Gamecocks’ first national title.
The decision on hosting sites came at the conclusion of the DI Women’s Basketball Committee’s fall meeting. In addition to site selection, the meeting also analyzed the optimal dates to host the Final Four. The committee ultimately decided to leave the schedule as is, with the Women’s Final Four taking place on a Friday and Sunday in late March or early April, straddling the Men’s Final Four on that Saturday and Monday.
“The Women’s Final Four is the premier women’s basketball event in the world and has shown tremendous growth in recent years,” Peterson said in a separate release. “The committee likes where the championship is at currently and decided the current format provides for proven and increased fan accessibility, engagement and growth through a variety of platforms, including attendance, broadcast, traditional media and social media. The student-athlete experience at the women’s championship is providing an impactful and equitable experience from tournament invitation to the conclusion of competition.”
Written by Eric Rynston-Lobel
Eric Rynston-Lobel has been a contributor to The Next since August 2022. He covered Northwestern women's basketball extensively in his four years as a student there for WNUR and now works as a sports reporter for the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire.