A couple weeks ago, the Golden State Warriors finally found out they would be playing the Utah Jazz in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. To many Warriors players, the news came as a disappointment, but not because they were concerned about facing the Jazz in a seven-game series. The confident Warriors were simply hoping they’d be spending their off nights in a more exciting city than Salt Lake.
For me, watching the U.S. Women’s National Basketball Team destroy the competition was a highlight of the Rio Olympics, especially in comparison to their more highly touted male counterparts who occasionally struggled to squeak out wins. The women straight up dominated on their way to winning gold (for the sixth straight time), outscoring their opponents by an average of 37 points. Their superiority made me wonder: why does the WNBA settle for such terrible names and logos for their teams? These women are athletes and competitors. They deserve better than to play for the Sparks, Sky, Fever and Dream. The especially irksome names are all derived from NBA affiliates, with the women’s team being the lesser of the two. The Wizards (an awful name in its own right) have the Mystics, the Timberwolves have the Lynx, the Spurs have the Stars, and the Mavericks have the Wings. Let’s give these women the respect they deserve and come up with some team names that are cool, and logos that aren’t simply bastardizations of their NBA brothers.
VISIT DENVER, a private, nonprofit trade association that is responsible for marketing metro Denver as a convention and leisure destination, is a key partner with GroundFloor Media (GFM) in helping to bring the NCAA Women’s Final Four to Denver March 30 – April 3. GFM has enjoyed working hand-in-hand with the VISIT DENVER team to ensure no opportunity is left unturned to alert Colorado residents near and far about this historic NCAA championship coming to our backyard. To celebrate, we’ve asked our friends at VISIT DENVER to share updates about everything going on March 30 – April 3, as well as provide a sneak peek into just what it takes to get Denver ready to host an event of this magnitude. We hope you enjoy it! If you’re interested in tickets, great 3-game, lower bowl tickets can still be found at www.visitdenver.com/wff.
Are you ready for the first women’s collegiate basketball championship in Denver? Expected to bring more than 30,000 visitors and generate $20 million in spend
Indoor or outdoor, in town or in the mountains, Colorado is a sports paradise – home to seven
The NCAA Women’s Final Four at the Pepsi Center is just the beginning – in fact, the NCAA offers a packed schedule of FREE family-friendly, hoops-themed events – “It’s More Than Three Games.” For more information, visit NCAA.com/finalfour. A few of the highlights include:
Tourney Town™ Refreshed by Coca-Cola Zero™ (March 30-April 1): the official Fan Festival and epicenter for all Women’s Final Four fan and community activities. Held in the Colorado Convention Center (Hall A), 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:
- Come play, dance and cheer on Fitness Friday (March 30) presented by Ortho Colorado Hospital featuring high energy activities that will get all the fans moving to the hottest new fitness trends with music, contests, clinics and fun day for all ages! Women’s basketball fans, be sure not to miss the USA Basketball Women’s National Team announcement live at 3:45 p.m. from Center Stage in Tourney Town.
- The Talent Showdown Refreshed by Coca-Cola Zero™ highlights Coca-Cola Zero and the best community-based singers by conducting a regional talent search through a grassroots, social media and radio marketing campaign culminating in a finalist “Talent Showdown” to determine who has what it takes to be the Tourney Town Talent Showdown winner during the finals show on Center Stage Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m. Contestants can register by visiting www.facebook.com/tourneytowntalent.
- NCAA Welcomes JEWEL Live in Concert (March 31, 5:30 p.m.), the NCAA welcomes four-time Grammy Award nominated Jewel to the Women’s Final Four festivities. Jewel will perform a FREE concert on Center Stage. Opening for Jewel will be Denver’s own Richie Law in concert at 4 p.m.
- AT&T Mascot Challenge (April 1, noon-1 p.m.), where the school’s mascots display their own unique skills in a head-to-head competition live on Center Stage.
- 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.
- Lisa Leslie, Capital One Cup Advisory Board Member, Presents Teamwork Makes the Dream Work (April 1, 1:45 p.m.), three-time WNBA MVP and four-time Olympic gold medalist, Lisa Leslie, will speak from Center Stage followed by an autograph session in the Capital One Cup Fan Zone.
Super Saturday at the Pepsi Center (March 31; doors open at 9:30 a.m.)
Free event and parking. Watch the Women’s Final Four teams practice, get autographs from the Women’s Final Four student-athletes and coaches, watch a Battle of the Bands competition featuring pep bands from the four institutions displaying their school spirit and see the WBCA High School All-America Game featuring the nation’s most gifted female high school basketball players.
- Open Practices – 11 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.
- Autograph Sessions – 10:45 a.m. – 3:55 p.m.
- Battle of the Bands – 3:45 – 4:15 p.m.
- WBCA High School All-America Game – 4:30 p.m.
Mile High Magic Salute Premiere Event (March 30)
Walk the red carpet and share the charismatic entrance of the Women’s Final Four teams at the Buell Theatre. Sage Steele, host of ESPN’s Sports Center will emcee the event and Denver’s own Silhouettes (America’s Got Talent runner up) and BreakEFX will perform. FREE team grand entrance (red carpet presentation of teams) begins at 6 p.m., followed with an event start of 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $20/person and can be purchased online or day of event at the Buell Theatre Box Office beginning at 5 p.m.
4Kay® Run Hydrated by POWERADE ZERO™ (March 31, 9 a.m.)
This fun 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 benefit cancer research through the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Walkers are strongly encouraged to participate. Online registration is $20 and available through March 30, with on-site registration $25. Now through March 30, visit your local McDonald’s and receive $5 off online registration code. The first 1,500 registrants will receive a 4Kay Run T-shirt donated by Nike.
Mile High Dribble (April 1, 11:30 a.m.)
Featuring several thousand youth dribbling their way from Civic Center Park to Tourney Town at the Colorado Convention Center, the Mile High Dribble is sure to be a blast. Youth, 18 and under, are invited to participate in the free event at which participants receive a t-shirt and basketball for the first 2,500 registrants, donated by the NCAA and Wilson® Sporting Goods Co. There will be entertainment, activities and lots of free fun for the whole family, beginning at 10 a.m.! Tourney Town will welcome dribblers and fans with live music and performances throughout the afternoon. Free and open to the public. Pre-registration online is encouraged.
POWERADE® NCAA® Youth Clinics (March 31, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
FREE and open to youth ages 8 to 16 through online registration through Friday, March 23, at 3 p.m. MT. On-site registration will also be available. Participants will receive instruction from NCAA coaches and student-athletes and get valuable information on fitness, healthy lifestyles and sportsmanship. Clinics take place at ThunderRidge High School and South High School. All participants will receive a FREE t-shirt and Wilson® Sporting Goods Co. mini-basketball.
Special thanks go out to the local business, nonprofit and civic organizations that have joined with us to promote all of the activities associated with the NCAA Women’s Final Four. We are proud to bring such talented athletes to our community and provide local kids with the opportunity to learn and grow through their experiences with this event.
We look forward to an exciting (and competitive) championship. For more information, check out www.NCAA.com/finalfour and follow NCAA Women’s Basketball on Facebook and Twitter.
VP Marketing & Development, VISIT DENVER