UConn has been selected to co-host the regionals for the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament for 2016 and 2017 in Bridgeport's Webster Bank Arena, the school announced Thursday. Fairfield University will serve as the other host.
“We would like to thank the NCAA for honoring Webster Bank Arena with the women’s basketball regional,” said Arena President Howard Saffan in a statement. “It is a great reflection on the continued growth of the city of Bridgeport as well as the improvements throughout our venue. We could not have received this honor without our loyal partners at Fairfield University and the University of Connecticut.”
UConn Senior Associate Director of Athletics/SWA Deb Corum added: “The news today that UConn has been selected to co-host the Regionals of the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport was exciting! This provides another opportunity for the fans in Fairfield County, and across the state, to see high level competition right here at home.
"The staff at Webster Bank Arena does an excellent job and teams that have played in that facility always enjoy a superlative experience. There has been wonderful collaboration in working with the staff at Fairfield University to submit this bid and I look forward to continuing to build that relationship as we work to make this the best regional site ever. But, my most heartfelt thanks go to the fans who have made the State of Connecticut the Basketball Capital of the World. THANK YOU!!! Without you, we would not have won this bid to host.”
And Fairfield Director of Athletics Gene Doris said, “We’re obviously delighted with the announcement. We’ve been hosting NCAA events pretty much since the building opened. We’re pleased to be partnering with the University of Connecticut and Webster Bank Arena in hosting this event.”
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch was just as excited.
“This is great news,” he said. “In our improving downtown, we’re extremely proud to serve as home to Webster Bank Arena, which is a world-class sports and entertainment facility. It’s playing a key role in our city nearing a renaissance. And, I’m crossing my fingers that my alma mater, UCONN, gets to play – and win – in our backyard.”
Webster Bank Arena previously hosted two regionals, in 2006 and 2013. The 2016 tournament is scheduled for March 25-28 and the 2017 even it scheduled for March 24-27.