TAMPA, FL - The 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four was awarded to Tampa Bay, it was announced Monday evening by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. Tampa Bay, which is readying to host the 2015 Women’s Final Four on April 5 and 7, will now host for a third time in 2019. Tampa also was host in 2008. The 2008 NCAA Women’s Final Four and its ancillary activities produced more than $19 million in direct economic impact in the Tampa Bay area, according to a study conducted during the event. Games in 2019 will be played at Amalie Arena on April 5 and 7. Tampa Bay’s bid committee was comprised of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Visit Tampa Bay, Amalie Arena, USF Athletics, Hillsborough County, City of Tampa, Florida Sports Foundation and others.
The cities were selected by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, with approval by the Administrative Committee of the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet.
“We’re thrilled with today’s news that the NCAA Women’s Final Four will be back again in 2019, after we also get the opportunity to host the 2015 event in April,” said Rob Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. “We could not be more thankful to the NCAA Committee and Staff for entrusting us with the opportunity to continue to host this incredible event. Special thanks to Sheila Johnson for her support of our bid and hosting efforts.”
“The past 15 months of the selection process resulted in four deserving cities being chosen to host the marquee event of our sport, the Women’s Final Four,” said Dru Hancock, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and senior associate commissioner at the Big 12 Conference. “We appreciate all of the cities and local organizing committees that participated in the process. Dallas, Columbus, Tampa Bay and New Orleans each demonstrated that they will continue to raise the bar on the event while enhancing the experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans. We look forward to our work together as we continue to build this important event.”
"We are absolutely thrilled and honored the NCAA has chosen to return the NCAA Women's Final Four to Tampa Bay in 2019,” said Mark Harlan, University of South Florida Director of Athletics. “It speaks volumes about our partners at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and executive director Rob Higgins and the first-class events they have planned and executed in our beautiful community. USF Athletics is looking forward to helping make the 2015 Women's Final Four a huge success and continuing to make the Bay Area a coveted destination for the nation's premier sporting events."
“We are pleased to join our friends from the University of South Florida and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission to bring another great championship event to the community," said Steve Griggs, Amalie Arena President. "We embrace the opportunity to drive economic and social impact to Tampa Bay and appreciate the support of our partners in this endeavor."
Cities and hosts tabbed for the future Women’s Final Fours are:
• 2017 – American Airlines Center, Dallas (Big 12 Conference, host)
• 2018 – Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State, host)
• 2019 – Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fla. (South Florida, host)
• 2020 – Smoothie King Center, New Orleans (New Orleans, Tulane and Sun Belt Conference, hosts)