Local college basketball fans won’t have to travel far to watch a future NCAA Women’s Final Four, but they will have a bit of a wait: Portland will host the championship for the first time ever, but it won’t take place until 2030.
Today, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee announced the five cities selected to hold the Final Four from 2027 through 2031. Of that group, Portland has the distinction of being the only first-timer; the rest have all hosted in the past, with Columbus, Ohio (Nationwide Arena), chosen for 2027, Indianapolis (Gainbridge Fieldhouse) in 2028, San Antonio (Alamodome) in 2029, and Dallas (American Airlines Center) in 2031.
The Portland matchups will take place at Moda Center, where NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship regional play was held in 2019. More regional games were scheduled inside the Rose Quarter again in 2020 before the pandemic canceled life as we knew it. However, those regional games will return to Moda in 2024, serving as a bit of a warmup for the Final Four six years down the road.
Even if you don’t follow college ball or care about the sport in general, there is reason to appreciate the fact that Portland has landed such a prestigious hosting gig. It should drive tourism to our state along with much-needed money to areas surrounding the Lloyd District—dollars that will be greatly appreciated by local restaurants, bars, hotels and attractions.
“The Women’s Final Four is the premier women’s basketball event in the country, and it’s exciting to see the unprecedented amount of interest from cities to host in the future,” Lisa Peterson, chair of the committee and senior associate commissioner for sports management with the Pac-12 Conference, stated in a press release. “The committee appreciates all the cities involved in the highly competitive bid process. When we crown a national champion in the selected cities, our student-athletes, coaches and fans will have enjoyed an amazing championship experience.”