Another big score for North Texas and college basketball. Six months after Arlington hosted the NCAA Men’s Final Four, the city of Dallas landed the Women’s championship for 2017. It’s part of a plan to make Dallas a go-to destination for college hoops.
Expect to hear that kind of excitement at the American Airlines Center in three years.
Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission says landing the Women’s Final Four has been a mission for six years – ever since Dallas was a finalist but lost out.
“Since 2008 we’ve been working to really increase their awareness of women’s basketball here in the area and hosted the 2011 NCAA Women’s Regional as well as the 2013 Big 12 Women’s Basketball, Paul said.
She says Dallas and the AAC proved that they know how to host women’s basketball: a solid venue, plenty of convenient hotel rooms and centrally located in the US.
At a downtown Starbucks, Clay Ewell and Raymond Garrett raised their coffee cups in a toast to 2017 and the Final Four big event.
“Great for the town. Glad to have them here.” Ewell said.
“I think it’s great. I think downtown Dallas needs it,” Garrett said. “I think our city could use more events like that. I live downtown and so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Monica Paul says Dallas is committed to college hoops.
“We’re excited where we’re at, hosting a Women’s Final Four in ’17. We’ll be awaiting announcement on Thursday if we host a Women’s Regional. And we were also awarded the 2018 NCAA Men’s first and second rounds,” Paul said. “So, hope to see a lot of basketball here in Dallas over the next four years.”
The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau expects 30,000 fans for the Women’s Final Four with an economic impact of $30 million dollars.
But, don’t look for another Men’s Final Four at AT&T Stadium for a while. After this year’s college championship, the Arlington venue found out last week it won’t have another shot until at least 2022.