The NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament will wrap up in Minneapolis when the Target Center hosts the NCAA Women's Final Four from April 1-3. But even for those not going to the games, there will be plenty of ways for fans to get in on the celebration.
The NCAA announced several events on Wednesday that will take place in conjunction with the Women's Final Four. With festivals, parades and concerts, downtown Minneapolis will be a busy place for three days.
“The 2022 Women’s Final Four will be extraordinary because of the strong working relationship and cooperation between the NCAA, the Minnesota Local Organizing Committee, the City of Minneapolis, and the State of Minnesota” said Debbie Estes, co-chair of Minnesota Local Organizing Committee.
“We have been working closely with the NCAA since the event was awarded several years ago, and it will truly be an honor to host the Women’s Final Four for a second time and an opportunity to provide a uniquely Minnesota hospitality experience for basketball fans from around the country.”
The free events will be headlined by "Women's Final Four Tourney Town." This festival will celebrate women's basketball and the Final Four teams with sport activities, games, pep rallies, appearances by the team bands, cheer squads, mascots, and merchandise sales.
The festival will be the hub of the action for the Final Four including the "Party on the Plaza." This event will take place on 1st Avenue outside Target Center and will feature food, beverages, merchandise sales, music, games and photo opportunities.
Tourney Town will also feature a series called "Beyond the Baseline." The series will be focused on providing professional development opportunities through a mix of women-centric panel discussions, networking, social events and one-on-one interactions with coaches, administrators, professional athletes, business leaders and fans of the game.
According to the NCAA's press release, the goal is to create diverse conversations to allow women leaders to show the parallel between business and basketball, specifically leadership advice for recruiting, motivating and winning as a team on the court or at the office.
The festivities will ramp up on Saturday, Apr. 3, beginning with the "Super Saturday" practice that will be open to the public. Gates to Target Center will open at 12:30 p.m. so fans can watch the two teams that advance to the national championship game practice beginning at 1 p.m.
Super Saturday will also feature a concert that evening at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The bands of the participating teams, a DJ and headliner to be announced will take the stage with the event starting at 6 p.m.
While the concert is also free to the public, attendees must register for a ticket in advance.
On Sunday, Apr. 3, the "Women's Final Four Bounce" will be a parade with individuals ages 18 and under dribbling through the streets of Minneapolis. Registration for the parade will begin at 11 a.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center with the event kicking off at 1 p.m.
Sunday will also feature the red carpet arrival of the two teams in the national championship game at the intersection of 1st Avenue and 7th Street. Both teams are scheduled to arrive at Target Center at approximately 3 p.m.
The Women's Final Four weekend begins Friday, Apr. 1 with the national semifinal games at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The national championship game will take place on Sunday, Apr. 3 with a tipoff of 5 p.m.