The NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee announced that the Big 12 Conference and the Dallas Sports Commission have been selected to host the 2017 Women's Final Four. The American Airlines Center will serve as the competition venue for the games to be played on March 31 and April 2, 2017.
"We are excited to bring the Women's Final Four to Dallas," said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "The Big 12 and the Dallas area have a successful history of hosting NCAA basketball competition. We look forward to putting on a spectacular event for student-athletes, coaches and fans."
The Big 12 and Dallas joined forces to host a 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Regional at the American Airlines Center, which drew an attendance of over 21,000. The final between Baylor and Texas A&M recorded a crowd of 11,500. The Big 12 has also staged four other regionals since 2008 while Dallas hosted a 2007 Regional and 2005 first and second rounds in Reunion Arena.
"We are delighted to have the 2017 Women's Final Four coming to Dallas," said Dallas Sports Commission Executive Director Monica Paul. "The Big 12, the Dallas Sports Commission and the American Airlines Center are committed to providing basketball fans with an unforgettable experience."
The American Airlines Center is a multi-purpose arena, located in the Victory Park neighborhood near downtown Dallas. The venue serves as home to the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association, and the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League. The arena is also used for concerts and other live entertainment. It opened in 2001 at a cost of $420 million with a basketball seating capacity of 19,200 and up to 21,146 with standing room.
"American Airlines Center continues to thrive as a premier destination in the sports and entertainment industry and we are excited to be selected as the host site for the 2017 NCAA Women's Final Four," said Dave Brown, American Airlines Center General Manager. "When we started the bid process, we were committed to bringing this event to the city of Dallas and are confident that we will provide a memorable experience for all the participants and the guests."
The 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship was contested at the American Airlines Center with the average attendance of 7,037 ranking second in Conference history. The Championship will return to Dallas in 2015. Three other women's championships were held in Dallas at Reunion Arena in 2003, 2004 and 2006.
In conjunction with the Women's Final Four, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association will hold its annual meeting and trade show. "Hoop City," an interactive fan experience will also be part of the festivities.
Dallas and the North Texas region have also staged NCAA and Big 12 Men's Basketball championships, most recently hosting the 2014 Men's Final Four that set an attendance record.
"We are thrilled to bring the 2017 Women's Final Four to Dallas," said Dru Hancock, Big 12 Senior Associate Commissioner. "The city and the Dallas Sports Commission have made a strong commitment to the success of this premier NCAA women's basketball event and we look forward to showcasing it in North Texas."
The games in Dallas will mark the fifth time that the Women's Final Four will be played in the state of Texas, with San Antonio hosting in 2002 and 2010, and Austin in 1985 and 1987.
About the Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 Conference is comprised of 10 Universities - Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia. The Big 12 is an NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics conference that encompasses five states with over 38 million people within its geographic footprint. In its 19th year, the Conference has produced 585 Academic All-America selections and claimed national championship team titles in 17 of its 23 sponsored sports. Its student-athletes and teams have combined for 552 individual NCAA titles and 53 team national championships. More than 4,200 student-athletes from across the United States and around the World compete annually under the Big 12 banner.
About the Dallas Sports Commission
The Dallas Sports Commission pursues amateur, grassroots, collegiate and professional championship events, positioning Dallas as the premier sports destination. A division of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Dallas Sports Commission focuses on generating economic impact as well as improving the quality of life within the community through sports.
The Dallas metro area is the leading business and financial center in the Southwest, offering visitors an unparalleled array of amenities such as more than 75,000 hotel rooms, flexible meeting space, moderate climate, service-oriented staff, and a central location with two major airports with more domestic nonstop flights than any other U.S. city. As the ninth-largest U.S. city, and part of the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the nation, Dallas provides the best shopping in the Southwest and an arts district made up of 20 square blocks of artistic and cultural destinations, with five cultural venues designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects. The Dallas metropolitan area is the top visitor destination in Texas and the only in the Southwest to host teams representing five major professional sports leagues.
Big 12 NCAA Women's Basketball Host History
2008 - Oklahoma City Regional (Ford Center)
2009 - Oklahoma City Regional (Ford Center)
2010 - Kansas City Regional (Sprint Center)
2011 - Dallas Regional (American Airlines Center)
2013 - Oklahoma City Regional (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
Dallas NCAA Women's Basketball Host History
2005 - First and Second Rounds (Reunion Arena)
2007 - Dallas Regional (Reunion Arena)
2011 - Dallas Regional (American Airlines Center)