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2016 Final Four Kickoff Press Conference

Source: Radio One Staff / Radio One Staff

The NCAA announced that Columbus is one of four finalists for the 2025 or 2026 Women’s Final Four bid.

Columbus is a finalist along with Tampa, Phoenix and Portland.

“We are thrilled Columbus has been selected as a finalist to host the NCAA Women’s Final Four in either 2025 or 2026,” said Linda Shetina Logan, executive director, Greater Columbus Sports Commission.

Columbus hosted the event for the first time in 2018, and it was a major contributor to the city’s tourism scene. The event saw total attendance of 80,000, and generated about $22 million in direct visitor spending in Columbus, according to an economic impact study.

“When Columbus played host to the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four, it united our community in a meaningful way and provided opportunities to introduce thousands of people – whether players, coaches, fans or those watching on TV – to our great city. We look forward to continuing to work with the NCAA on the bid process and are excited about another opportunity to host these amazing student-athletes and women’s basketball fans in Columbus.”

Columbus must submit a final bid by April 13.

Columbus and Tampa are the only two finalist cities that have previously hosted the event. Tampa hosted in 2008, 2015 and 2019. Phoenix and Portland would be first-time hosts.

The 2020 Women’s Final Four will take place in New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center.

The sites for 2025 and 2026 will be announced in October.

Source: 10TV.com and BizJournals.com