NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association
(NCAA) have informed representatives from the Ohio Valley
Conference and the Nashville Sports Council that the City of
Nashville has been awarded the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's
Basketball Final Four.
The event will take place in 2014 and be held at the Sommet Center in downtown Nashville with the Ohio Valley Conference serving as the host institution.
"We are honored and delighted to learn that the NCAA has selected Nashville as a site for the Women's Basketball Final Four!" said Dr. Robert Bell, Tennessee Tech president "This is a tremendous vote of confidence in Nashville, the Middle Tennessee Region, and the entire set of member schools of the Ohio Valley Conference.
"Tennessee Tech and the OVC are proud to be associated with this great venture, and we pledge to make this an outstanding experience for all of the student-athletes, university officials and fans associated with the Final Four," Bel said.
In conjunction with the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four, Nashville will 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.
Nashville was one of five cities awarded the Division I Women's Basketball Final Four's between the years of 2012 and 2016. Other cities selected to host the Final Four during that time period include (with arena and host institution):
? 2012: Denver, Pepsi Center, Mountain West Conference.
? 2013: New Orleans, New Orleans Arena, University of New Orleans
? 2014: Nashville, Sommet Center, Ohio Valley Conference.
? 2015: Tampa Bay, St. Pete Times Forum, University of South Florida
? 2016: Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Stadium, Butler University/IUPUI/Horizon League
The process to secure the Division I Women's Final Four began in January with an initial meeting of the Music City Bid Committee, co-chaired by Vice-Mayor Diane Neighbors and Margaret Behm. The OVC and Nashville Sports Council submitted an official bid to the NCAA in June and were announced as one of the eight finalists in August. The NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee and NCAA staff made a two-day visit to Nashville in mid-October and Nashville's local bid committee made a final presentation to the NCAA in Indianapolis on Nov. 12.
Music City Bid Leadership Quotes:
"This is great news for Nashville", said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. "I applaud the Sports Council, the Ohio Valley Conference and the bid committee for all the work they put into making this happen, specifically Vice-Mayor Diane Neighbors and Margaret Behm. This news speaks to what a great destination Nashville is for large events and their participants, and it helps validate the need for a new, much larger convention center downtown. This event is only possible because by 2014 the Music City Center will be open and fully operational. I look forward to Nashville hosting this event and to showing the Women's Final Four participants all that Music City has to offer."
"This is a great day for Music City," said Nashville Vice-Mayor and Music City Bid Committee Co-Chair Diane Neighbors. "The Nashville team worked very hard and produced a fantastic proposal. Over the next six years we will be putting together a Final Four that players, coaches, and fans won't forget. Congratulations Nashville!"
"The community wide support we have received throughout the bid process has been phenomenal," said Music City Bid Committee Co-Chair Margaret Behm. "That broad ranging support coupled with Middle Tennessee's long tradition of celebrating women's basketball makes Nashville the perfect host site for the 2014 Women's Final Four."
"We dreamed it and we did it," said Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, Commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference. "This is the result of a lot of people and organizations pulling together and working to develop a strong bid. The leadership of our co-chairs, Margaret Behm and Diane Neighbors, along with the strong bid team that was developed was instrumental in the success of this effort. I must also single out the Nashville Sports Council. Their expertise and experience in managing events played a critical role in our bid efforts."
"We are pleased that the NCAA has awarded the 2014 Women's Final Four to Nashville," said Nashville Sports Council President & CEO Scott Ramsey. "This event is one of the most high profile annual events on the national sports calendar and will bring tremendous national exposure, prestige and economic impact to our community. We look forward to beginning the planning and preparation to host an unforgettable experience for the student-athletes, fans and everyone associated with the Women's Final Four."
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.