Pac-12 agrees to extension to keep Women’s Basketball Tournament in Seattle through 2019
PAC-12 AGREES TO EXTENSION TO KEEP WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT IN SEATTLE THROUGH 2019
2016 semifinals tonight at 6 p.m. PT; Championship game tomorrow at 6 p.m. PT
Washington, Oregon State, UCLA, California to play for spot in 2016 championship
SEATTLE – The Pac-12 Conference has extended its partnership with Force 10 Sports Management, LLC, the Seattle Sports Commission, and Seattle Center through 2019 and will continue hosting the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament at KeyArena for the next three years, the Conference announced today.
The 2016 tournament continues tonight at 6 p.m. PT at KeyArena as Washington, No. 8 Oregon State, No. 12 UCLA, and California compete in the semifinal round. The 2016 championship game will take place tomorrow night at 6 p.m. PT with the conference title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
The original agreement that brought the Pac-12 Tournament to Seattle was signed in 2012 and facilitated the 2013, 2014, and 2015 tournaments. Last year, an extension was signed to bring the 2016 tournament to Seattle, and now the Pac-12 has committed to bringing the event back to Seattle for the next three years.
The tournaments held at KeyArena to date have drawn great attendance, provided exciting atmospheres, and created unprecedented national exposure for Pac-12 student-athletes. The attendance totals at the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Pac-12 Tournaments in Seattle were three of the four highest attendance marks in the 14-year history of the tournament.
"The city of Seattle has proven to be a great home for our premiere women's championship," said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. "Our student-athletes, member institutions, and fans have enjoyed a tremendous atmosphere inside KeyArena and we are thrilled to continue to work with partners who share our commitment to and passion for women's sports."
The semifinals of the 2016 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament will be played tonight at 6 p.m. PT and 8:30 p.m. PT at KeyArena. The first game features California vs. No. 12 UCLA, and then Washington will take on No. 8 Oregon State in the later game. The winners of those two games will then face off Sunday night at 6 p.m. PT to compete for 2016 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament championship.
This week’s tournament has already provided the great women’s sports fans of Seattle with close games, exciting action, thrilling upsets, and record-breaking performances, and there is more of that in store for this weekend’s games. Tenth-seeded California won two upsets to earn their place in the semifinals, defeating seventh-seeded Utah in just the second overtime game in tournament history on Thursday and then defeating second-seeded Arizona State on Friday.
The other semifinal matchup features two standout teams from the Pacific Northwest in Washington and No. 8 Oregon State. In last night’s quarterfinal win over No. 11 Stanford, Washington junior Kelsey Plum scored 29 points, becoming Washington’s all-time leading scorer.
The semifinal games will be broadcast tonight on Pac-12 Networks, and tomorrow’s championship game will be on ESPN. Tickets are still available for both remaining sessions at pac-12.com/tickets as well as the East Box Office at KeyArena.
The Pac-12 is one of the strongest women’s basketball leagues in the nation, currently boasting the highest RPI in the country and four teams ranked in the top-15 nationally. The Conference is excited to continue bringing high-level college basketball to Seattle sports fans.
"We’re thrilled to continue the partnership with the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament," said Managing Partner of Force 10 Sports Management Lisa Brummel. "Over the last four years, this tournament has provided a first-class experience for the student-athletes and coaching staff, the fans and the community. We are passionate about making Seattle the hub for women’s sports at all levels."
The popularity of women's basketball in the Seattle market, the 12th largest in the nation, can be seen with the success of the WNBA's Seattle Storm. The team is consistently among the leaders in attendance in the WNBA, averaging 7,800 fans throughout the franchise’s 17-year history. The Storm has been recognized in the WNBA’s annual General Manager survey as the ‘Best Home Court Advantage in the WNBA’ for six-straight seasons, a nod to the dedicated Seattle women’s basketball fans.
“Continuing our partnership with Force 10 Sports Management and the Pac-12 to keep the women’s basketball championship in Seattle was a top priority,” said Seattle Sports Commission Executive Director Ralph Morton. “To host the tournament for the Conference of Champions is fantastic for our community. It allows us to inspire the next generation of basketball stars through exposure to incredible role models while bringing significant economic impact to our region before peak tourism season. We could not be more thrilled to see the tournament stay in the Emerald City through 2019.”
The Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament is being held for the 15th time this week. The tournament made its debut in 2002 and was held at the University of Oregon's campus in Eugene, Ore. The event spent four years in Los Angeles before moving to Seattle in 2013.
"We look forward to building on the success the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament has enjoyed at KeyArena since 2013," said Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams. “This event has been a great chance to welcome fans and teams from all over the region to our wonderful city.”
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott will be available to the media to discuss the extension this evening at 5 p.m. PT in the Family Room at KeyArena. Contact Natalia Ciccone (firstname.lastname@example.org) for credential needs.
About the Pac-12 Conference
The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 49 of the last 55 years, with 480 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University.
About Force 10 Sports Management, LLC
Force 10 Sports Management, LLC is owned and operated by the same team that leads the Seattle Storm, one of the premier WNBA franchises in the country. Force 10 Sports Management specializes in event production, ticket and sponsorship sales. Utilizing cutting edge business practices and leveraging a unique relationship with the community, Force 10 Sports Management aims to bolster awareness and sustainability of women’s sports in Seattle.
About the Seattle Sports Commission
The Seattle Sports Commission (SSC), a division of Visit Seattle, is committed to making Seattle a world-class sports community. Sports can bring the world to Seattle and bring our region together. A strong sports culture can strengthen local businesses, local kids, and local pride.
About KeyArena at Seattle Center
Opened in 1995, KeyArena at Seattle Center is Seattle’s premier large event venue for sports, concerts and family entertainment. The facility has entertained over 18 million guests and is home to the 2004 and 2010 WNBA champions Seattle Storm, and Division I Seattle University Men’s Basketball. The venue, ranked among the top 100 venues in the world, provides sporting events, including the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament, as well as a broad range of live music, entertainment, family shows and community programming for the City of Seattle. www.keyarena.com