Portland, Ore. was recently selected as a finalist by the NCAA as a possible city to host the Women’s Basketball Final Four in either the 2025 or 2026 season.
The announcement comes off the heels of Portland hosting the highest attended Women’s Basketball West Regional in the history of the NCAA tournament last season. A crowd of 11,538 came for an Elite Eight match that featured the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the home-state Oregon Ducks.
With the city of Portland and the Moda Center once again playing host for the West Regional in 2020, the NCAA will be looking for a similar turnout to the one of last year’s Elite Eight when deciding on a Final Four location.
According to a press release from Sport Oregon, the attendance at this season’s West Regional matches may be similar to that of last year’s due to the “national success of the Oregon State University and the University of Oregon women’s basketball programs” that has helped raise “support and awareness for women’s basketball and community.”
Last season, basketball fans in the state of Oregon showed their support of the game through attendance in the West Regional games, but also through attending home games of both the Beavers and the Ducks. In 2019, both Oregon State and Oregon ranked in the top 20 in average home attendance and were the two best PAC-12 schools in average attendance.
Despite Portland not being in play for hosting the Final Four until the 2025 or 2026 seasons, fans will not have to wait long to find out who the host city will be. The selection process by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee will begin starting over the summer before announcing a decision in October 2020.
When the rest of the finalists are chosen, the committee will conduct site tours of both the venue and the city. Next, the spokespeople of the finalist cities will deliver a presentation to the committee in September on why their city should be selected to host the Final Four. The presentations mark the final step before the committee makes their decision.
With the decision by the committee coming within the year, basketball fans can start to make Final Four plans sooner rather than later. And if Oregon State were to make a Final Four similar to their 2016 season, Beaver fans would not need to travel far to see their team play.