Cleveland’s Final Four History

womens final four history

Cleveland is excited to once again welcome the NCAA Women’s Final Four back to our court. Before the best in Women’s Basketball takes to the hardwood at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (RMFH) on April 5 & 7, 2024, let us share the rich history of hosting one of our favorite events.

In 2007, The Land played host to Tennessee, LSU, Rutgers and North Carolina. Tennessee, led by legendary head coach Pat Summitt and All-American Candace Parker, won its seventh Division I Women’s Basketball Championship with a 59–46 win over Rutgers on April 3, 2007.

That same year marked the 35th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, part of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or education related activity.

Since this historic anniversary coincided with hosting NCAA Women’s Basketball, the NCAA and Cleveland’s host organizations created a series of community programs to raise awareness of issues important to women and girls in sport. “Girls and Women Rock,” an academic and legal conference, was created.

This historic conference brought together major players in women’s sports advocacy and created a whitepaper identifying some of the then-challenges to Title IX and ideas on how to strengthen the educational amendment.

Additional programming to support the anniversary included a conversation with tennis legend Billie Jean King, an event supporting the importance of girls and women in sports called Title IX Hoopla, and special showings of the documentary Boxers, which focused on amateur boxers overcoming their struggles as female athletes.

Youth mentorship and leadership programs, and health and wellness initiatives called Rock the Future and Rock U, all centered on Cleveland’s rock ‘n’ roll theme.

Countless other programs, such as Rockin’ Rally and Basketball Bounce, celebrated Women’s Basketball beyond the court.

In addition to community programs, Cleveland saw over 25,000 visitors during the hosting of 2007 NCAA Women’s Final Four, which provided $10.7 million in economic impact to Northeast Ohio.

Looking toward 2024, the same players will be involved, hosted by the Mid-American Conference, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and RMFH. This team is excited to make the 2024 hosting an even bigger, more impactful event for The Land.