ALBANY – Times Union Center is becoming home to the women's NCAA basketball tournament.
Siena College, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and Times Union Center have been awarded a 2021 NCAA Division I women’s basketball regional. The downtown arena hosted the regional in 2015 and again in March, and the tourney will return again next spring.
“Siena is excited to once again co-host with the MAAC, Times Union Center, and Albany County to bring NCAA women's basketball back to the Capital Region in 2021,” Siena athletic director John D’Argenio said in a statement. “The regional is a great opportunity for people from other parts of the country to get to know Albany and to find out how passionate this community is about college basketball."
The 2021 NCAA Division I women’s basketball regional, featuring Sweet 16 and Elite Eight Round contests, will be held at the Times Union Center March 26-29, 2021. Austin, Texas (H-E-B Center in Cedar Park), Cincinnati (Cintas Center), and Spokane, Washington (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena) were the three other sites selected by the NCAA to host regionals in 2021.
“It is great to once again host the NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional with Siena College,” MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor said. “Being able to host this event shows our commitment to the city from our league. Albany is a premier site for NCAA competition.”
The 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Regional marks the fifth time that the arena has been awarded NCAA tournament basketball since 2015. In addition to the 2018, 2019 and 2021 women's regionals, Times Union Center will host NCAA Division I men’s first and second round games March 19-21, 2020.
“The Times Union Center is honored to be selected to host a 2021 Division I women’s basketball regional,” Bob Belber, SMG manager of Times Union Center, said in a statement. “We have a long, rich history with the NCAA, and we are excited to continue the tradition of hosting outstanding championships.”
Siena, the MAAC and the Times Union Center previously co-hosted NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament games with the East Regional in 2003, and first and second round contests in 1995.
“Our Times Union Center is a first-class sports entertainment facility and today’s announcement that it will host the 2021 NCAA women’s basketball regional speaks volumes,” said Albany County executive Daniel P. McCoy. “This decision builds on a proud legacy of Albany County welcoming NCAA basketball to our home court, including this year’s women’s basketball regionals, the 2019 Division I women’s basketball regionals, and the 2020 Division I men’s basketball first and second rounds, which continues to make our thousands of local fans proud.”