March 12, 2012
Courtesy of the Pac-12
WALNUT CREEK, CALIF. - With its new partnership with Force 10 Sports Marketing, LLC, the Seattle Sports Commission and Seattle Center, the Pac-12 Conference will bring the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament to KeyArena in Seattle in 2013, and will deliver unprecedented national television exposure to its women's basketball teams and student-athletes, it was announced today.
The new agreement, which runs through 2015, moves the tournament to the first full week in March to strengthen television windows and maximize national exposure. ESPN2 will televise the championship game, while all other games will be carried nationally on the Pac-12 Networks. The 2013 tournament will be played March 7-10.
"We are extremely proud of the rich heritage the Pac-12 has in women's basketball and we feel strongly that this new partnership will enhance the tournament experience for our student-athletes and fans," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "Seattle is a beautiful city that has proven to be a prolific women's basketball market. Force 10 Sports Marketing shares our commitment and passion for women's sports and we look forward to growing the tournament together."
The popularity of women's basketball in the Seattle market, the 12th largest in the nation, can be seen with the ground-breaking success of the WNBA's Seattle Storm. The team is consistently among the leaders in attendance in the WNBA, averaging 8,658 fans in 17 regular-season home games in 2011. They have increased attendance 10 percent the last two years.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for Seattle and the Pac-12 Conference," CEO of Force 10 Sports Marketing, LLC Karen Bryant said. "We are tremendously excited about working together to deliver a first class event for the participants, fans and the community. This region is passionate about basketball and an ideal destination for this championship tournament."
KeyArena, home to the two-time WNBA Champion Storm, has entertained more than 10 million guests as Seattle's premier venue for sports, concerts and family entertainment. Its unique design provides sports and concert fans an intimate entertainment experience with spectacular sightlines and acoustics. A commuter-friendly city, fans have a convenient link between downtown Seattle and Seattle Center with the Seattle Center Monorail.
"We are very excited to host the Pac-12 Conference and their Women's Basketball Tournament at KeyArena," Executive Director of the Seattle Sports Commission Ralph Morton said. "It is a great opportunity for us to show off our community to one of the premier conferences in the country and the thousands of fans that follow their member institutions. Seattle is an ideal destination for hosting major events and this tournament will be a great addition to the sports calendar for our region." The Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament, the Conference's premier women's sporting event, enters its 12th season in 2013. The tournament made its debut in 2002 and was held at the University of Oregon's campus in Eugene, Ore. The four-day event spent the last four years in Los Angeles.
"The WNBA Seattle Storm brings such tremendous spirit and community support to KeyArena at Seattle Center; and now this premier sports and entertainment venue will host the Pac-12 women's basketball tournament," Director of Seattle Center Robert Nellams said. "We look forward to welcoming these amazing young women and bringing the community back to the Key for more outstanding women's basketball."