As expected, the NCAA women’s basketball tournament will be held entirely in San Antonio, Texas, and surrounding areas. Also as expected, there will be 64 teams participating, making for a full-fledged March Madness after the tournament was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first round begins on March 21 and will be held at five different sites. The second round will be played at three different sites and the Final Four rounds — Sweet 16 through the championship game — will be played exclusively at the Alamodome in San Antonio, with the title game being played on April 4.
The University of Texas at Austin, some 80 miles from San Antonio, will be one of the first-round sites. The Alamodome, meanwhile, will have two courts and host some games during all rounds of the tournament.
NCAA vice president of women’s basketball Lynn Holzman had the following to say about holding the tournament in one location:
We appreciate the historical significance of moving the entire championship to one region and want to acknowledge the work by the Women’s Basketball Committee and staff, our hosts, local organizers and ESPN that has allowed us to make plans for a successful 2021 championship. We’re fortunate to be working with San Antonio, which features one of the most experienced local organizing committees in the country, and our No. 1 priority is to focus on creating and implementing safety controls in an environment for student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and everyone else associated with the championship.
It has not been decided if fans will be allowed at the NCAA Tournament games.
All teams selected to play in the tournament will arrive in the San Antonio area on March 16 or 17, with a maximum of 34 people in their travel parties. They will stay in hotels in Bexar County. There will be nine practice courts located at a San Antonio convention center in addition to the two offered at the Alamodome.