Final Four tips off in Cleveland tomorrow

(WJW) – The most anticipated NCAA women’s Final Four is about to tip off in Cleveland.

Tickets are selling at a premium and tens of thousands of fans are expected to fill downtown for the weekend’s festivities.

The four best women’s college teams will compete in the semi-final games Friday night.

The championship game will be played Sunday at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

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In between there is plenty to draw fans who can’t get their hands on tickets into the current epicenter of women’s basketball.

The Huntington Convention Center has been transformed into “Tourny Town”, a free basketball fan fest complete with a replica championship floor.

Outside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Gateway Plaza is the “Party on the Plaza” where fans can enjoy, music and games, food and beverages starting Thursday.

Saturday is open practice at the arena for the two teams that will face off in Sunday’s championship game.

Your guide to this weekend’s NCAA Women’s Final Four in Cleveland

When Cleveland last hosted the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2007, 25-thousand people came to town, generating more than $10-million for the local economy. This year, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission estimates it will be close to $25-million.

The growth of women’s basketball has been enormous over the past few years. The Final Four is expected to be one of the most watched sporting events in the country.  And a Northeast Ohio native is proud to have had a roll in bringing it to Cleveland.

Lynn Holzman, the Vice President for Women’s Basketball at NCAA, grew up in North Royalton and said, “We have something really special in women’s sports and women’s basketball. Now the eyes of the world are on it and that’s a testament to our players and the programs and really the people that invested their lives in building this. We are on the greatest stage in the world right now. Women’s Final Four is the mega premiere elite women’s sporting event in the world and we’re in Cleveland.”

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