Columbus has been named a finalist to host a NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2027, 2028, 2029, 2030 or 2031 at Nationwide Arena, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

Columbus hosted the Women’s Final Four for the first time in 2018, breaking the event’s previous attendance mark with more than 39,000 fans at three sold out games.

Sports Travel Magazine named the 2018 Women’s Final Four Sports Event of the Year, beating out events like the Super Bowl and Olympics. The magazine’s criteria included superior organization of and attendance at the event, along with providing superior spectator service and experience. The record-breaking championship featured unique, first-time activities for fans and customized bus wraps for the participating teams.

“We are thrilled Columbus has been selected as a finalist to host the NCAA Women’s Final Four for the 2027-2031 cycle,” Greater Columbus Sports Commission CEO & President Linda Logan said. “The 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four unified our community in a meaningful way, introducing thousands of players, coaches and fans to our great city. Columbus has always championed women’s sports and we look forward to continuing that mission as we work with the NCAA through this process."

As the NCAA continues to explore potential modifications to the Women’s Final Four, Columbus has expressed its willingness to host joint DI, DII and DIII women’s basketball championships, if desired. Since 2002, Columbus has hosted part of 13 NCAA Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships. Additionally, Columbus has crowned a DII or DIII women’s basketball champion in three of the last four years.

  • 2005 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – 1st & 2nd Rounds

  • 2005 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship – 1st & 2nd Rounds

  • 2007 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – 1st & 2nd Rounds

  • 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship – 1st & 2nd Rounds

  • 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship – 1st & 2nd Rounds

  • 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – 1st & 2nd Rounds

  • 2016 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship – National Semifinals

  • 2017 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship

  • 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship – Final Four

  • 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – 1st & 2nd Rounds

  • 2019 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship

  • 2020 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship (*Cancelled due to COVID-19)

  • 2021 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship

  • 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – 1st & 2nd Rounds

Columbus has hosted more than 100 NCAA events since 2002. In December 2021, the city set records for attendance (18,755) and ESPN viewership (1.2M) for the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship.

“Having hosted more than 550 new sporting events since 2002, Columbus prides itself on being a host with more red carpet and less red tape,” Logan said. “The collaborative nature of our community enabled us to create memorable experiences and set attendance records for the 2018 Women’s Final Four and the 2021 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship. We are eager for another chance to elevate our city while inspiring the next generation of women athletes.”

 

In addition to the Women’s Final Four, the host city will also welcome the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Convention. Final bid submissions for the 2027-2031 Women’s Final Four are due in July. The NCAA will then conduct a series of evaluations, site visits and in-person presentations. Bid cities will be notified of site selections in November.

About The Greater Columbus Sports Commission:

The Greater Columbus Sports Commission’s mission is to rally Columbus to compete and win sporting events, providing a singular athlete and fan experience and positively impacting image, economy and lifestyle. Since 2002, the Greater Columbus Sports Commission has brought 550 new sporting events to Columbus, generating an estimated $625 million in direct visitor spending.