Nashville Readies For Women's Final Four Tournament
By Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The NCAA Women's Final Four Tournament will take place this weekend in Nashville. It is an event that has been years in the making.
The city won the bid to host the 2014 tournament in 2008. Preparations have been underway for the games that will be played at Bridgestone Arena for years.
"It's a culmination of a lot of peoples' work, over a long period of time, and it's now time to play basketball," said Gary Alexander, the local executive director for the event.
Between 25,000 to 30,000 people are expected to travel to Nashville for the tournament and the city is ready to welcome them.
"They'll all come through the airport, that's decorated. They'll come to the hotels around town, they're all decorated. You can see it, the street pole banners downtown town." Alexander said.
There are 2,100 volunteers hours planned to help coordinate the local event for the NCAA event.
Tuesday, crews installed what will be the centerpiece of the tournament.
"This morning, after the Cher concert last night, the staff of Bridgestone Arena laid the floor down," Alexander explained.
The NCAA's slogan is the tournament is more than just three games. There are several days of events going on leading up to the tournament.
"There's open practices the community can watch, free of charge. There's autograph sessions that will occur in the concourse of the arena," according to Alexander.
Women's basketball fans can also visit an new exhibit at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, located in Bridgestone Arena.
The Pat Summitt Gallery will open at the museum on Friday. During her career Summitt won more college basketball games than any other coach. It is a record she holds to this day.
"I think it's going to be inspiring for the fans to come in here and see the mark that she left, but also hopefully their teams will be able to leave that mark as they leave Nashville," said Corey Blaske with the Hall of Fame.
The Sports Hall of Fame will have free admission from Friday until Tuesday so women's basketball fans can visit the exhibit while they are in Nashville.
Here is where you can find a list of all the Women's Final Four events: http://www.ncaa.com/womens-final-four/schedule