*Editor’s note: While there are no travel restrictions to New Orleans due to the Covid-19, out of an abundance of caution and consideration for staff, vendors, athletes, and guests, the NCAA Women’s Final Four has decided to cancel all events. Please check the event website for details and updated information.
The NCAA Women’s Final Four is coming back to New Orleans this April. Over the month’s first weekend, the city will transform into a mecca for basketball fans. The semifinal and championship games are on Friday, April 3, and Sunday, April 5, respectively, but the various free events that go along with the tournament will have you dribbling all over downtown. Get your picture taken with an all-star basketball champ, join a parade, and jam out at a free concert.
If you want to make the most out of your time while you’re here for the Final Four, we’ve got lots of ideas for you. Check out Freret Street Festival on April 4, a beloved Uptown neighborhood block party with over 200 local food and art vendors and 20+ bands across three stages. Have some of the best seafood in town, and maybe even make your way to a crawfish boil or two.
Come, stay a while, and enjoy the best that the Final Four brings to the already bustling city of New Orleans. We’ve got everything you need to know for the games and more below.
The Semifinal and Championship Games
Starting with the games, the Final Four NCAA women’s basketball teams will face off in semifinal games at the Smoothie King Center on Friday, April 3. The games will be played at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The final two teams will advance to the championship game on Sunday, April 5 at 5 p.m. in the Smoothie King Center. Tickets start at $37.50 for single games or $75 for all games.
Free Fan Events
Women’s Final Four Tourney Town presented by Capital One is headquarters for all the free fun during championship weekend. Kicking off Thursday, April 2 and lasting right up until the championship game, Tourney Town is a festival at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center filled with games, giveaways, special appearances, and more. Youth clinics, photo ops, autograph signings, basketball contests, and Women’s Final Four team displays make it fun for the entire family. Tourney Town hours are Thursday, April 2 from 4-8 p.m., Friday, April 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 4 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 5 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Women’s Final Four Bounce presented by Buick is a parade through downtown New Orleans, with a basketball twist. Youth under the age of 18 are invited to bounce, skip, and hop on down to Tourney Town from Mississippi River Heritage Park, leading thousands of fans along the way. Online pre-registration is recommended, and the first 2,000 participants will receive a free T-shirt and basketball. The Bounce is on Sunday, April 5 at 11 a.m., with check-in from 9-11 a.m.
The Party on the Plaza events are the official kickoff to the semifinal and championship games. Merchandise and food will be on sale, with music blasting from DJ Ally Bea. Fan-friendly interactive games will also be a part of the event. Enjoy this free party held outside the Smoothie King Center on Friday, April 3 from 3-5:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 5 from 2-4:30 p.m. Cheer on the final two teams as they arrive at the Smoothie King Center via red carpet on Sunday evening.
It wouldn’t be a celebration without music, and the Super Saturday Concert presented by AT&T is quite the celebration. Country artists Eli Young Band and Cassadee Pope headline the concert, which will be held at Champions Square (adjacent to the Superdome) from 5-10 p.m. on Saturday. Food trucks and the Women’s Final Four pep bands will also participate in the event. Fireworks will cap off the night.
Hotels and Lodging
Book your stay in New Orleans today at one of these downtown hotels close to the championship action. Downtown New Orleans is a walkable area, with plenty to explore in ways of dining, cultural arts, and nightlife.