MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minneapolis will host three future women’s and men’s Big Ten Conference basketball tournaments, league officials announced Wednesday morning.
Target Center in Minneapolis will host the 2023 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament and the 2024 Big Ten Women’s and Men’s Basketball tournaments. Those events determine the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournaments.
"I think Minneapolis is the perfect city to host the next two years of the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament and I’m thrilled for our fans to have this opportunity to enjoy the highest level of women’s college basketball," University of Minnesota women’s basketball head coach Lindsay Whalen said in a statement. "We’ve seen when women’s sports are supported, as they are in Minnesota, they can bring in massive audiences. The recent Final Four is a perfect example of what this community has to offer our game. This entire state does such a great job at supporting all women’s sports at every level and this will be no exception."
This announcement comes on the heels of Minneapolis hosting the NCAA Women’s Final Four earlier this month at Target Center. Minnesota Sports and Events CEO Wendy Blackshaw said in a statement having Minneapolis be the host city for the Big Ten tournaments will "continue to fuel Minnesota’s reputation as a true basketball state."
The events are expected to attract thousands of fans. According to the Big Ten, 860,000 fans have attended the women’s tournament since 1995, and more than 2.3 million fans have attended the men’s tournament since the inaugural event in 1998.
"Minneapolis has a strong history of hosting exceptional events such as the recent NCAA Women’s Final Four, and also features world-class venues and an outstanding base of Big Ten alumni and fans," Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. "We look forward to creating new memories and experiences for our student-athletes, coaches, and member institutions, further expanding our fan base, cultivating relationships with the business community, and fostering a positive and lasting impact on the Twin Cities."
Minneapolis has a history of success with large scale sporting events. The city has hosted the Super Bowl, several NCAA Basketball Tournament regionals, Major League Baseball's All-Star Game at Target Field. and the 2019 NCAA men's Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The 2023 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament is scheduled for March 1-5, 2023. It will be the first time the event has been held outside of Indianapolis since 2015. The 2024 Big Ten tournaments will be held on back-to-back weeks, with the women’s tournament scheduled for March 6-10, 2024, followed by the men’s tournament from March 13-17, 2024.