Approximately 5,000 women’s basketball student-athletes from 336 NCAA Division I institutions will compete for the opportunity to participate in the 2012 Women’s Final Four and ultimately win the national championship. ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast all 63 games of the 2012 Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, which will also be distributed to approximately 177 countries around the world.
The two national semifinal games will take place Sunday, April 1 at Pepsi Center, with games set for 4:30 and 7 p.m. MST. The 2012 national champion will be crowned Tuesday, April 3 at the Pepsi Center, with the game set for tip-off at 6:30 p.m. MST. Lower bowl, three-game package tickets are still available for purchase at VISITDENVER.com/WFF.
“This is the largest NCAA event that Denver is currently able to host, and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities for community involvement throughout Downtown Denver surrounding the event,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Many NCAA Women’s Final Four Events are FREE
While tickets are required for the games, many events taking place around the games are free, making a perfect family-friendly weekend in Denver. Some of the events include:
Tourney Town™ Refreshed By Coca-Cola Zero™
When: March 30-April 3
Where: Colorado Convention Center
Tourney Town Refreshed by Coca-Cola Zero will be the “host city” and epicenter for all Women’s Final Four fan and community activities. Held in the Colorado Convention Center, the event is free and open to the public. Visitors will enjoy entertainment, concerts, food, licensed merchandise, autograph sessions, basketball clinics, exhibits, games and interactive displays. Tourney Town events include:
- The Center Stage, featuring entertainment from local, regional and national talent, all in a festival-style atmosphere of food, retail experiences, and concessions. Music sensation Jewel will perform a free concert at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31.
- NCAA Pep Rally (April 1, 1-1:30 p.m.), featuring performances by the pep bands, cheerleading squads and mascots from the Women’s Final Four teams.
- AT&T Mascot Challenge (April 2, noon-1 p.m.), where the school’s mascots display their own unique skills in a head-to-head competition live on Center Stage.
Mile High Magic Salute Premiere
When: March 30, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: Buell Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts
Walk the red carpet and see the charismatic entrance of the teams competing in the Women’s Final Four. The event, hosted by ESPN commentator Sage Steele, pays tribute to the coaches and student-athletes in a celebratory Salute. The red carpet arrival of the teams is open to the public, while tickets are required for the Salute.
POWERADE® NCAA Youth Clinics
When: March 31, 8:30 a.m.
Where: ThunderRidge and South High Schools
The POWERADE NCAA Youth Clinics serve as an NCAA outreach initiative that youth participate in throughout the city of Denver. Boys and girls will have the opportunity to learn and enhance their sports, conditioning and life skills with women’s basketball coaches and student-athletes, as well as collegiate administrators and basketball experts from various parts of the country. NCAA Youth Clinics encourage children, ages 8-16, to participate in basketball training, as well as on organized team sports, and stress the importance of participation rather than winning. These “active participation” sessions will cater to the developmental level of each participant, providing them with the fundamental tools they need for basketball. Through a focus on discipline, confidence and commitment, these youth will use what they have learned through athletics and apply them to other areas of their lives. Free and open to the public.
4Kay® Run Hydrated by POWERADE ZERO™
When: March 31, 9 a.m.
Where: Downtown Denver
The 5th annual 4Kay Run, a mainstay of the Women’s Final Four weekend of events, is held in honor of the late North Carolina State women's basketball coach Kay Yow. Proceeds from the run will benefit cancer research through the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Walkers are strongly encouraged to participate. Online registration is $20, with on-site registration $25. The first 1,500 registrants will receive a 4Kay Run T-shirt donated by Nike.
Open Practices and Team Autograph Sessions
When: March 31, 10:45 a.m. to 3:55 p.m.
Where: Pepsi Center
Catch the Women’s Final Four teams in action during open practice sessions. Attendees can get autographs from the Women’s Final Four student-athletes and coaches on complimentary commemorative posters courtesy of AT&T. Free and open to the public.
Battle of the Bands
When: March 31, 3:45-4:15 p.m.
Where: Pepsi Center
Always a Women’s Final Four fan favorite, this energy-filled competition features the pep bands from the four competing schools displaying their skills. The fans will select the winner of the Battle of the Bands at open practice. Free and open to the public.
WBCA High School All-America Game
When: March 31, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Pepsi Center
This prestigious event features the nation’s most gifted female high school basketball players. Free and open to the public.
Mile High Dribble
When: April 1, 11:30 a.m.
Where: Civic Center Park
The Mile High Dribble will feature several thousand youth dribbling their way from Civic Center Park to Tourney Town at the Colorado Convention Center. Youth, 18 and under, are invited to participate in the free event at which participants receive a t-shirt and basketball, donated by the NCAA and Wilson® Sporting Goods Co. There will be entertainment, activities and lots of free fun for the whole family! Tourney Town will welcome dribblers and fans with live music and performances throughout the afternoon. Free and open to the public.
For more information, please go to VISITDENVER.com/WFF.