Nashville's First Women's Final Four Deemed A Success, NCAA Likely To Return
Nashville "scored a major victory by pulling off its first Final Four with great success" and likely took a "big step toward securing the return of the event," according to sources cited by Mike Organ of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. Mountain West Conference Senior Associate Commissioner of Compliance Carolayne Henry, who this year served as NCAA D-I Women's Basketball Committee Chair, said, "I'm going to put my plug in for Nashville to get to host again, that's for sure." Organ notes the city is "among seven finalists for the opportunity to serve as host" during one of the years in the next open cycle from '17-20. Nashville, Columbus, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay "will send representatives to the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis over the next few months, and NCAA representatives will visit each city." The four hosts will "be announced in November." Henry said that the components of Nashville she "liked most were that Bridgestone Arena was within walking distance of so many hotels, restaurants and other entertainment venues along with the manner in which Nashvillians welcomed the event." Nashville Sports Council Senior VP & COO Gary Alexander estimated that 20,000-30,000 visitors "came to town during the event." Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner Beth DeBauche, whose conference served as the Final Four host, said that she "was confident it did the best job that could be done." DeBauche: "It far exceeded our expectations, and we had really high expectations. We are elated. ... This is a cherished event for the NCAA. We tried to take good care of it, and we think that we were able to do that" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 4/9).