Will Kansas City be in the spotlight for NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball in the future? We’ll know today.
The Kansas City Sports Commission will find out Monday whether the NCAA will host the Final Four of its Division 1 women’s basketball tournament in Kansas City in the year 2023 or 2024.
KSHB reports that Kansas City is one of seven finalists the NCAA is considering to host the tournament. The official announcement is expected at 1 p.m.
Representatives from the sports commission gave their final presentation to the selection committee in Tampa last week. Those same committee members also visited Kansas City as part of the process.
Kathy Nelson, president of the KC Sports Commission, said Kansas City has great sports fans who love college basketball and women’s sports. She said the city’s central location makes it appealing as well. Plus by the year 2023, Kansas City should have a new airport terminal, an extended streetcar line and a new convention center hotel.
“Someone on our staff said we would be lucky to be awarded this championship, but they’d be lucky to get Kansas City,” Nelson said.
Nelson estimated the weekend-long tournament would generate $22 million for the local economy.
Beyond an economic impact, Nelson said the tournament normally makes a lasting impact on the community which hosts it. For example, after Kansas City hosted the women’s Final Four in 1998, organizers created WIN For KC, or the Women’s Intersport Network. The agency empowers girls and women through sports by hosting a women’s triathlon, a camp for children and leadership initiatives.
“When you think about on a national and international level about what we’re doing in Kansas City to recognize and advocate and promote women through sports, and then now have the spotlight on us for us that year, it doesn’t get much better,” Nelson said.
Kansas City hosted the NCAA women’s volleyball championships in 2017 and portions of the women’s basketball tournament in 2018.