New Orleans Earns Bid to Host 2020 NCAA Women's Final Four park
The City of New Orleans will host the 2020 NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four, the NCAA announced on Monday. The bid process was a city-wide effort involving every major sports organization in the city, including Tulane University, the University of New Orleans, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, the Sun Belt Conference, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau and SMG/Smoothie King Center.
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While Tulane and UNO will be the host institutions for the event, all of the contributors to the bid process will be integral in the hosting process as well.
The seven finalist cities under consideration to host a Women's Final Four during the 2017-20 bid cycle were Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Tampa Bay, Florida. Of that list, only New Orleans (1991, 2004 and 2013) and Tampa Bay (2008) have hosted previously. Nashville served as host of the 2014 Women's Final Four, while Tampa Bay will host again in 2015. Indianapolis will host the event in 2016.
Following the 2017 event being awarded to Dallas, Columbus will host 2018, Tampa Bay will host 2019, and New Orleans in 2020.
"Together with Tulane University and the University of New Orleans as Co-Host institutions, our New Orleans Bid Committee made a very compelling bid that promises a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the student athletes and fans of the Women's Final Four in 2020," New Orleans Local Organizing Committee Chairwoman Kim Boyle said. "We look forward to working with the NCAA and our Local Organizing Committee partners, including the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Sun Belt Conference, the Smoothie King Center and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, to host a ‘Party of Four' like the NCAA has never experienced. 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, and we promise to continue raising the bar for other host cities."
In late August, NCAA officials did a site check of the potential host cities. A group of four individuals visited New Orleans and reviewed the Smoothie King Center, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, local hotels and venues for ancillary events and visited with the LOC about local transportation options, the city's financial commitment and vision for the event. Boyle and the New Orleans team presented to the full selection committee in Indianapolis on Thursday, Nov. 13.
In addition to Boyle, presenters included Barbara Burke, Deputy Director of Athletics at Tulane University, Derek Morel, Director of Athletics at the University of New Orleans, Laurie Ducros with SMG and the Smoothie King Center, Cristin Hopkins with the New Orleans Convention and Visitor's Bureau and Risa Hall, Director of Community Affairs for the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.
New Orleans has hosted three previous Women's Final Fours, including 1991 at Lakefront Arena and 2004 and 2013, both at the then-New Orleans Arena and now Smoothie King Center.