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Phoenix makes virtual pitch to host NCAA Women’s Final Four

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PHOENIX – A Phoenix committee hoping to host the NCAA women’s college basketball championship will make its pitch virtually Thursday, organizers said.

Three other cities are in the running for the Final Four in 2026. NCAA officials, observing coronavirus safety measures, will also be making online “visits” to Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Oregon; and Tampa, Florida.

Phoenix plans to offer Talking Stick Resort Arena as its site via phone and video conference.

“We’ve spent hundreds of hours preparing. It’s definitely a different presentation than previous bids,” local host committee co-chair Brooke Todare told KTAR News 92.3 FM this week.

The winner will be announced in October.

The Valley has yet to host the women’s basketball championship, but is a veteran overseeing big college sporting events, having hosted the men’s Final Four in 2017 in Glendale, and college football playoffs.

Glendale’s State Farm Stadium will be the site of the 2024 men’s Final Four.

“The championships have really become part of the core DNA of who we are as a state,” Todare said. “It’s why we so badly want to add this one to our lineup, if you will.”

Partners in the venture include the city of Phoenix, Phoenix Mercury, the Phoenix Suns, Arizona State University and the Phoenix Convention Center.

“We’ve got the right community partners … to host a top-notch championship,” Todare said.

The city council passed a resolution in January supporting a bid to host the event.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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