The National Collegiate Athletic Association has selected Portland as one of seven cities that could host the Women’s Basketball Final Four between 2027 and 2031.
The inclusion among seven finalists being considered for five years’ worth of events means that Portland has a better than 1-in-2 chance of being chosen. The other finalists are Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Indianapolis; Sacramento; San Antonio; and Tampa.
If selected, Portland would host the last three games of the women’s tournament at Moda Center. The Trail Blazers’ arena has previously hosted first- and second-round men’s and women’s NCAA tournament games—but never a Final Four.
NCAA tournament games are typically hosted by a nearby university. In this case, the host school would be the University of Portland. The Catholic school on the North Portland bluffs has long been a powerhouse in women’s sports—though its soccer program is more successful than the basketball team, which hasn’t reached a tournament since 1997.
“With the success of all the women’s basketball programs here in the state of Oregon, it would be a true honor to host one of the most prestigious championship events in sports,” University of Portland vice president of athletics Scott Leykam said in a statement.
Portland has been a finalist for the Women’s Final Four previously—for the 2025 and 2026 games—but wasn’t picked. (Tampa and Phoenix were.) The civic passion for women’s sports—the Portland Thorns regularly lead the National Women’s Soccer League in attendance—is well documented, but making the shortlist again may also be an indication that the number of hotel rooms in the central city is finally sufficient to sway NCAA officials.
The NCAA will make a decision in July.