NCAA Women’s Final Four comes to Nashville

(l-r) Anucha Browne Sanders, Vice President, Women’s Basketball Championships, NCAA; Mayor Karl Dean; Beth DeBauche, Commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference and Chair of the Nashville Local Organizing Committee; Margaret Behm, Named Partner at Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella, P.C., Co-Chair of the Nashville Local Organizing Committee, and Gary Alexander, Senior Vice President & COO of the Nashville Sports Council, Executive Director of the Local Organizing Committee

(l-r) Anucha Browne Sanders, Vice President, Women’s Basketball Championships, NCAA; Mayor Karl Dean; Beth DeBauche, Commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference and Chair of the Nashville Local Organizing Committee; Margaret Behm, Named Partner at Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella, P.C., Co-Chair of the Nashville Local Organizing Committee, and Gary Alexander, Senior Vice President & COO of the Nashville Sports Council, Executive Director of the Local Organizing Committee

This weekend, the city of Nashville will host thousands of visitors for one of the most important sports events to ever hit the city. The economic and cultural impact of the extended weekend will live on for years. From April 6–8, in partnership with the Ohio Valley Conference, the Nashville Sports Council and the city of Nashville will be hosting the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four. According to published reports, tourism industry leaders expect the event to bring between $20 million and $25 million in direct economic spending. Nashville Sports Council Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Gary Karl Alexander said the event will bring between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors, according to estimates provided by the NCAA based on recent Final Four numbers.

The impact of the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four on the middle Tennessee community will last for years, thanks to the many Legacy Programs coordinated by the NCAA and Nashville Local Organizing Committee, including a women’s leadership luncheon, a Girl Scout badge, a sports journalism mentoring program, and more than 100 arts and cultural activities for middle school youth. These programs were created to bring women’s sports into focus; to directly address issues of disparity between men’s and women’s sports funding, coverage, participation, and support; and to empower young female athletes by enabling them to become leaders within their own teams and communities.

The NCAA Women’s Final Four is the conclusion of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, which runs for three weeks in March and April. The main attraction will be the three basketball games played over two days at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville, including the two National Semifinals which will be broadcast internationally on ESPN, Sunday, April 6, including: No. 1 Notre’ Dame vs. No. 4 Maryland at 6:30 pm, ET; and No. 1 Connecticut vs. No. 2 Stanford at 8:30 pm. The National Championship is on ESPN, Tuesday, April 8: the two Semifinal Game winners face off at 8:30 pm.

Throughout the week of the Championship, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Convention, community engagement and legacy programs give the event its exciting pulse. It is a time to celebrate and experience women’s college basketball at the highest level. Starting April 5, fans and families are invited to take part in three days of mostly free festivities to gear up for the big game.

Tourney Town will be located in the Music City Center with non-stop programs for the whole family including concerts, NCAA Women’s Final Four Pep Rally, and AT&T Mascot Challenge. All fans and families are invited to participate in the seventh annual ‘4Kay’ Run held in honor of the late NC State head women’s basketball coach Kay Yow. The run begins April 5 at 8 am, with pre-registration at 6:30 am, with proceeds benefitting cancer research through the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

Thousands of youth will be dribbling their way through downtown Nashville. Participants will receive a t-shirt and basketball, donated by the NCAA and Wilson Sporting Goods Co.

The Broadway Bounce begins Sunday, April 6 at 1 pm, with pre-registration at 11 am. Country music newcomers, Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery, will perform a free concert as part of the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four activities in Nashville. The concert will take place at 4:30 pm, CT, on Tuesday, April 8, in the Music City Center, on the main stage of Tourney Town.

Visit <ncaa.com/womens-final-four/> for more information on the Women’s Final Four in Nashville, Tenn.