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Nashville Announced As Finalist To Host NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
NASHVILLE, Tenn., (August 13, 2008) - Representatives from the Ohio Valley Conference and the Nashville Sports Council received confirmation today from the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee that Nashville has been chosen as one of eight finalist cities proposed to serve as host for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four. The bid is for one year in 2012-2016, with the Sommet Center in downtown Nashville serving as the competition venue.


In conjunction with the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Final Four, Nashville would also host the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Convention. The WBCA is the national association of approximately 5,000 basketball coaches representing all levels of the game, including junior high, AAU, high school, college and professional.

Finalist cities with venue(s) and host(s) are:
• Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide Arena, The Ohio State University.
• Dallas, American Airlines Center, Big 12 Conference.
• Denver, Pepsi Center, Mountain West Conference.
• Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Stadium, Butler University and Horizon League.
• Nashville, Sommet Center, Ohio Valley Conference.
• New Orleans, New Orleans Arena, University of New Orleans.
• San Antonio, Alamodome, University of Texas at San Antonio.
• Tampa Bay, St. Pete Times Forum, University of South Florida.

The next steps in the bid process involve the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee and NCAA staff conducting an on-site visit to Nashville in either September or October 2008. They will visit all facilities/sites associated with the Final Four and meet with the Nashville Bid Committee members. The Nashville group will then make a presentation to the NCAA in Indianapolis in November. The NCAA's final decision on which cities will be awarded Final Four's will be announce mid-November 2008.

Music City Bid Leadership Quotes:
"We are delighted to have made the finalists in our bid to bring the Women's Final Four to Music City,” said Vice-Mayor Diane Neighbors. “This is an exciting day for Nashville and being chosen is a testimony to the hard work of our committee. Now we must go to the next level, continue our work, and make this a reality for our city."

“I feel so good about Nashville’s chances to host this event,” said Bid Committee Co-Chair Margaret Behm. “Middle Tennessee's long tradition of supporting basketball for girls at an early age to the college ranks, Nashville is the perfect host city for the Women’s Final Four. When the Women’s Basketball Committee visits Nashville, we’ll do our best to showcase this tradition, our facilities, downtown and the atmosphere that makes Nashville so special for fans, student athletes and coaches.”

"We are pleased to have advanced to the next step of this process," said Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, Commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference. "We recognize there is still a good deal of work remaining to be completed but with the strength of our bid committee I look forward to this task. Nashville is a great venue for this event and the Division I Women's Final Four would bring innumerable benefits to both the city and the Middle Tennessee Region. Additionally, Nashville would be a truly unique host site for the Women’s Final Four."

“The NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four is a signature event,” said Scott Ramsey, President and CEO of the Nashville Sports Council. “We are eager to move forward in the process with the NCAA in hopes to bring this event and all its positive economic and publicity opportunities to Music City.”

“To be considered as one of the final eight locations for the Final Four of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament is quite an honor,” said Hugh Lombardi, General Manager of the Sommet Center. “Having hosted the OVC Men’s and Women’s Tournaments, SEC Men’s and Women’s Tournament and NCAA First and Second Rounds, we feel confident that bringing the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four here will be a success. This would be a great addition to the history of college basketball at the Sommet Center.”

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The Ohio Valley Conference, which is the nation's eighth oldest Division I athletic conference, is in its 61st year of competition in 2008-09. The OVC is comprised of 11 schools that represent five states. Member institutions include Austin Peay State University, Eastern Illinois University, Eastern Kentucky University, Jacksonville State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Southeast Missouri State University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee at Martin. For more information call (615) 371-1698 or visit OVCSports.com.

The Nashville Sports Council is a private, non-profit, membership-based organization of area corporations and individual sports enthusiasts. Created in 1992, the Nashville Sports Council’s mission is to positively impact the economy and quality of life of the Greater Nashville Area by attracting and promoting professional and amateur sporting events. The Nashville Sports Council has hosted more than 120 events that have produced over $340 million in direct economic impact and is The Driving Force of Sports in Nashville. For more information, call (615) 743-3120 or visit NashvilleSports.com.

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