The San Antonio region will host the entire NCAA women's basketball tournament.
The move Friday was made to help mitigate the risks of COVID-19 and matches that of the men’s tournament, which the NCAA said last month will be played in the Indianapolis area.
The tournament will still feature 64 teams and will run from March 21 through April 4. The NCAA will use five sites for the opening round, including the University of Texas, which is 80 miles from San Antonio, as a venue.
“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,” said Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president of women’s basketball.
“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.”
The Alamodome will host games for every round, with two courts in use at the building. The Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four will be played there as well as the national championship.
The NCAA said it was still figuring out how it will seed the tournament as far as who goes to which venue, as well as what would happen in the worst case scenario of a team being unable to compete because of COVID-19 issues.
No decision has been made yet on whether fans can attend, although at minimum it's hoped that at least up to six family members or friends of the participants could attend the tournament pending local health guidelines. Most of the venues being used are already allowing limited attendance at their events.