INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee has selected nine cities that will share in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship hosting duties for regional play in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Numerous firsts are taking place for the championship, including the first championship games to be played in the state of South Dakota and in Stockton, California. In addition, championship games will be played at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, for the first time since the 1986 Women’s Final Four. Lexington was selected to host all three years.
“The committee continues to look for new markets and venues in which to play the championship and were pleased that new hosts like Sioux Falls and Stockton joined the other more veteran sites in providing a home for our championship,” said Dru Hancock, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and senior associate commissioner at the Big 12 Conference. “The committee hopes that other cities will be encouraged by this decision and we will see more involved in the next bid cycle.”
In 2016, Bridgeport, Connecticut (Webster Bank Arena), Dallas (American Airlines Center), Lexington (Rupp Arena) and Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Denny Sanford Premier Center) will serve as the four regional sites March 25-28. Bridgeport and Webster Bank Arena have hosted two regionals previously in 2006 and 2013, while Dallas and the American Airlines Center hosted a regional in 2011 and will be readying to host the Women’s Final Four in 2017. Sioux Falls will be the first South Dakota city to host a round of the women’s basketball championship, while Rupp Arena in Lexington will play host to its first championship action since Jody Conradt and the Texas Longhorns won the 1986 national championship in the building 29 years ago.
In 2017, Bridgeport (Webster Bank Arena) and Lexington (Rupp Arena) will again host, joined by Oklahoma City (Chesapeake Energy Arena) and Stockton (Stockton Arena) March 24-27. A frequent host of women’s basketball championship games, Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City hosted regionals in 2008, 2009 and 2013. Stockton was chosen to host for the first time in tournament history.
In 2018, Lexington will again play host at Rupp Arena, joined by Albany, New York (Times Union Center), Kansas City, Missouri (Sprint Center) and Spokane, Washington (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena), with regional play taking place March 23-26. Albany and the Times Union Center are hosting regional play for the first time in 2015. The Sprint Center in Kansas City is a return regional site for the championship, last hosting in 2010. Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena has hosted championship play five times previously and will host another regional in 2015 before returning to host in 2018.
The 2016-18 regional sites were selected by the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, with approval by the Administrative Committee of the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet.
|March 25-28||Fairfield and UConn||Regional||Bridgeport, Conn.||Webster Bank Arena|
|March 25-28||Big 12||Regional||Dallas||American Airlines Center|
|March 25-28||Kentucky||Regional||Lexington, Ky.||Rupp Arena|
|March 25-28||Summit League||Regional||Sioux Falls, S.D.||Denny Sanford Premier Center|
|March 24-27||Fairfield and UConn||Regional||Bridgeport, Conn.||Webster Bank Arena|
|March 24-27||Kentucky||Regional||Lexington, Ky.||Rupp Arena|
|March 24-27||Oklahoma||Regional||Oklahoma City||Chesapeake Energy Arena|
|March 24-27||Pacific||Regional||Stockton, Calif.||Stockton Center|
|March 23-26||MAAC||Regional||Albany, N.Y.||Times Union Center|
|March 23-26||Big 12||Regional||Kansas City, Mo.||Sprint Center|
|March 23-26||Kentucky||Regional||Lexington, Ky.||Rupp Arena|
|March 23-26||Idaho||Regional||Spokane, Wash.||Veterans Memorial Arena|