After considering a move to Las Vegas, the Pac-12 agrees to a three-year extension to keep the women's tournament in Seattle.
The Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament will remain at KeyArena for the next three years.
After the conference considered moving the event to Las Vegas, the Pac-12 on Saturday announced an extension with Force 10 Sports Management, the Seattle Sports Commission and Seattle Center to keep the women’s tournament in Seattle through 2019.
The tournament first came to Seattle in 2013 on a three-year contract. In 2015, the Pac-12 announced a one-year extension, and during the past year commissioner Larry Scott said the Pac-12 pondered moving the women’s tournament to Las Vegas to pair it with the men’s tournament, which has been held at the MGM Grand since 2013.
Ultimately, though, the conference did not open up the women’s tournament to new bidders, Scott said Saturday at KeyArena.
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“There’s a sense that we’ve found a good home,” Scott said. “The coaches and the teams feel well supported here. It’s a very knowledgeable sports town generally but (also) appreciative of women’s sports. It’s nice to play in a venue and a city that supports their WNBA team.”
On Friday night, Washington upset 11th-ranked Stanford before a crowd of 5,789 at KeyArena, a tournament record for a quarterfinal game. An even bigger crowd is expected Saturday night when the Huskies’ play top-seeded Oregon State in the second semifinal at 8:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks).
The women’s tournament debuted in 2002 at the University of Oregon, then spent the next six years in San Jose, Calif., and four more in Los Angeles.
“We’re thrilled to continue the partnership with the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament,” Force 10 Sports managing partner Lisa Brummel said in a statement. “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.”