The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) will welcome more than 2,000 delegates to the 2018 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Convention from March 29 through April 1 in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four basketball games to be held at Nationwide Arena.
“We’re excited to be here. We see how welcoming and excited the people in Columbus are,” said Stephanie Baron, WBCA director of events.
Thousands of coaches are members of the association, which focuses upon professional development, advocacy, membership and affiliated efforts to advance the quality and popularity of women’s basketball.
The Women’s Final Four 3x3 Tournament will be inside Tourney Town from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 31 at a cost of $45 per team or $15 for individual players wishing to be placed on a team. Players age 18 and over can play and teams may consist of three or four players.
Hours for Tourney Town are:
• Thursday, March 29 - 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Friday, March 30 -10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Saturday, March 31 - 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Sunday, April 1 - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A popular free event for youth is the NCAA Women’s Final Four Bounce on Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m., when the first 2,500 participants age 18 and younger registering online will receive a free basketball and T-shirt and dribble their way from McFerson Commons to Tourney Town.
The NCAA Women’s Final Four and WBCA activities are expected to attract more than 80,000 people over four days, generating more than $20 million in direct visitor spending.
WBCA members and fans attending Tourney Town can also participate in sustainability efforts and two unique, free photo opportunities within the GCCC.
During the event, the GCCC and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) will be providing guests with the ease of discarding bottles and cans in designated containers in the concourse and exhibit halls. This will assist the facility in vastly reducing the tons of waste and recyclable materials sent to the local landfill.
“SWACO is pleased to support expanded recycling at the convention center,” said Hanna Greer-Brown, SWACO’s communications director. “This is a real added value for visitors and makes a statement about our community’s commitment to the health and well-being of future generations.”
Additionally, guests are invited to participate in two free photo opportunities in the North Atrium:
• On Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can pose for a photo by Italian photographer Timothy Emanuele Costa of the Thousand People of Genoa project now on display on the GCCC’s 60-foot video wall. Costa’s 1,000 photos gathered here will be compiled and then displayed in Genoa, a sister city of Columbus.
• Throughout the weekend, attendees can enter the photo booth within the “As We Are” interactive artwork and emerge to see their face depicted in 14-foot-high LED lights.
“We’re thrilled to be hosting Tourney Town and the WBCA Convention,” said GCCC General Manager John R. Page. “We vividly remember the success of the NHL Fan Fair we hosted in 2015. Tourney Town has the added allure of offering free admission to enable all basketball fans to enjoy the festivities within the event and the GCCC.”
The Greater Columbus Convention Center is located in downtown Columbus and owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and managed by SMG. The $140 million expansion and renovation of the facility was completed in July 2017.
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 233 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide.
Visit www.columbusconventions.com and www.smgworld.com for more information.