Department of Travel and Tourism
Frankfort to Host NAIA Women's Basketball Championships
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The City of Frankfort has been selected as the site of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division I Women’s Basketball National Championships for the next three years, the NAIA announced on Monday.
The 32-team national tournament -- which will be co-hosted by the City of Frankfort and the Mid-South Conference -- will be held March 14-20, 2012, at the Frankfort Convention Center. The tournament will return to downtown Frankfort from March 13-19, 2013, and from March 19-25, 2014.
“The Frankfort Convention Center and the Mid-South Conference have demonstrated a strong desire to host the NAIA women’s basketball national championship and are ready to showcase the NAIA’s top teams and student-athletes,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “We look forward to working with these tremendous partners and the Frankfort community to produce an unforgettable student-athlete experience.”
The 5,300-seat Frankfort Convention Center has been the site of such tournaments as the Mid-South Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association girls’ basketball “Sweet Sixteen” state tournament and the KHSAA state wrestling championships.
“We are incredibly excited to host the very best NAIA women’s basketball student-athletes and coaches in Frankfort for the next three years,” said Frankfort Convention Center Executive Director Rob Minerich. “Everyone involved -- including Frankfort Mayor H. Gippy Graham, Frankfort/Franklin County Tourism, Frankfort Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Frankfort Association -- is prepared to provide an excellent experience both on and off the court for the participants in the national tournament. This event will show how Kentucky embraces the game of basketball.”
In addition to exciting basketball inside the Frankfort Convention Center, teams and fans will be within walking distance to a full-service hotel, shops, restaurants and historical sites, including the Kentucky Old State Capitol, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History and the Kentucky Military History Museum.
Frankfort will be just the fourth site in the 31-year history of the tournament. The NAIA Division I national championship was played in Kansas City, Mo., from 1981-83 and from ’86-89; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from ’84-85; and in Jackson, Tenn., for the last 22 years.
A total of 116 NAIA schools compete for bids to the 32-team, single-elimination tournament.
The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism is an agency within the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, which promotes the Commonwealth as a travel destination. Tourism in Kentucky has an economic impact of nearly $11 billion, employs more than 176,000 people and generates $1 billion in taxes.