The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee announced the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will be held in one geographic area and has begun preliminary talks with San Antonio and the surrounding region to serve as the potential landing spot for the 64-team tournament.
Championship playing dates and venues are still to be finalized, with the tournament expected to occur during the previously announced championship window in late March and early April.
The committee emphasized the importance of conducting the championship in a manageable geographic area that limits travel and allows the NCAA to focus on the potential benefits of conducting certain safety measures in a controlled environment with competition and practice venues, medical resources and lodging for teams and officials all in close proximity.
“Conducting the championship in one geographic region allows for more planning and execution of safeguards that provide potential benefits for promoting the health and safety of student-athletes, the NCAA membership and all individuals involved in the championship,” said Nina King, senior deputy athletics director and chief of staff at Duke, chair of the committee. “By making this difficult decision now, it allows for an earlier opportunity to work proactively with local public health officials within the host communities and ensures that the identified guidelines and protocols are considered for a more controlled environment.
“The committee and staff deeply appreciate the efforts of all the host institutions and conferences that were slated to host championship play in 2021, especially our predetermined regional hosts in Albany, Austin, Cincinnati and Spokane. We look forward to bringing the tournament back to the impacted sites in future years.”