TAMPA, Fla. - The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee has selected Tampa Bay, and the University of South Florida, to host the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four Championship. It will be the second time the event will be played in Tampa Bay.
“Hosting an event like this is usually a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Tampa Bay Sports Commission Executive Director Rob Higgins in a release. He credited the efforts of numerous organizations and volunteers, and the region’s hospitality industry for the award.
After submitting an intent-to-bid form in November 2007, representatives of 12 cities attended a pre-bid seminar in January 2008, and met with NCAA staff for individual planning and progress updates in April and June 2008, a release said. After selecting eight finalist cities in August 2008, women’s basketball committee members made site visits to each finalist city in September and October. Following the site visits to each city, potential host-city representatives made final presentations to the committee Nov. 11-12 in Indianapolis.
When evaluating prospective host cities, the committee reviewed each city’s venue, convention center, hotel community, transportation plans, legacy programs and financial commitment, as well as the community’s and prospective host institution/conference’s overall commitment to the event, the release said.
The Women’s Final Four has become one of the NCAA’s premier championship events. Just as with the 2008 event in Tampa Bay, the 2015 Women’s Final Four will be played at the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa.
In addition to Tampa Bay in 2015, the committee also chose host cities for the 2012 to 2016 championships. They include Denver in 2012, New Orleans in 2013, Nashville, Tenn. in 2014 and Indianapolis in 2016. Denver and Nashville will be hosting the event for the first time, the release said.