In a big win for Fort Worth’s hospitality industry, The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced Oct. 14 that Fort Worth and Texas Christian University have been selected by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee as a host for the 2026 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Regional Rounds at Dickies Arena on March 27-30, 2026.
Fort Worth was also awarded four years of NCAA National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships in 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026. This will position Fort Worth as host for NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships for eight straight years.
Fort Worth hosted the NCAA Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Championship in 2015, 2016 and 2019 and was previously awarded the 2021 and 2022 Championships set to be held at Dickies Arena. The 2019 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championship at the Fort Worth Convention Center broke single session and overall attendance records for the last five years.
“We can’t wait to welcome back student-athletes, coaches, fans and families who will travel to Fort Worth and experience our world-class city,” said Jason Sands, director of the Fort Worth Sports Commission. “Sporting events like these create a significant economic impact to our city by bringing business to our restaurants, hotels, shops and attractions.”
The Fort Worth Sports Commission, Texas Woman’s University, Knight Eady and Dickies Arena have worked in a close partnership for the past five years to secure the NCAA National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships to Fort Worth.
“Texas Woman’s University is thrilled to once again play a part in hosting the NCAA Gymnastics Championships in Fort Worth, Texas,” said Lisa Bowerman, head gymnastics coach for Texas Woman’s University. “After several years of partnering with the Fort Worth Sports Commission and Knight Eady, I know that the collaboration among all groups involved will result in a first-class championship event for the student-athletes, coaches, and fans.”
“Dickies Arena is looking forward to extending our partnership with the NCAA and welcoming them to Fort Worth in the coming years,” said Matt Homan, president and general manager of Dickies Arena. “We can’t wait to create an exciting atmosphere for the student-athletes during the championships and to showcase our city and provide a world-class championship experience for the players, coaches and fans during these marquee events.”
Texas Christian University has also been a key partner in securing NCAA events to Fort Worth.
“This is an incredibly exciting and historic day for Fort Worth,” said Jeremiah Donati, director of intercollegiate athletics for TCU. “Being able to attract a marquee events like the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament to our city is a great example of the partnership between TCU, Fort Worth and Dickies Arena. We are honored to serve as the host institution. With great pride, we look forward to welcoming universities and their fans from across the country to Fort Worth and sharing with them how much our city and community have to offer in addition to enjoying March Madness in a new world-class venue.”
Fort Worth was awarded the title of host after a highly competitive bidding process against destinations across the nation, led by the Fort Worth Sports Commission. Combined, the events are expected to drive more than $14.7 million in economic impact, bringing in more than 114,000 visitors and 17,700 room nights to Fort Worth.
In 2019 the Fort Worth Sports Commission completed the largest outreach program in NCAA history with the Readers Become Leaders program, which included over 30 schools and more than 17,000 elementary students and over 6.7 million minutes read. Plans for similar community impact programs are in the planning stages for the 2021 and 2022 NCAA National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships.
This article originally ran in the Fort Worth Business Press and is reprinted here with permission.