The University of Victoria will play host to the “Victoria Invitational,” an eight-team NCAA Division Women’s basketball tournament, Nov. 28-30,organizers announced today. The event, which had a very successful launch last year at the Vancouver Convention Centre, will feature prominent NCAA Final Four teams, including Mississippi State (2017 & 2018 NCAA Runner-Up), Stanford (2017 Final Four) and Syracuse (2016 NCAA Runner-Up). The three-day tourney will be played at the CARSA Performance Gym on the University of Victoria campus.
“We are thrilled to have the option to move our premium women’s event to such an outstanding facility at UVic,” said Brooks Downing, CEO of bdG Sports, the Kentucky-based event organizer. “It’s a state-of-the-art, new facility that has played host to the Toronto Raptors training camp and will serve our teams and fans in a first-class fashion.”
In Victoria, the tournament is a collaboration between bdG Sports, the event owner and operator, along with local co-founders Howard Kelsey and David Munro, the University of Victoria, and the Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission, which is providing funding to support the event.
“The Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission is proud to support the Victoria Invitational this fall,” said Robert Bettauer, Chair of the Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission and CEO of PISE. “The sport of basketball has a long history in Greater Victoria. The Victoria Invitational is a natural fit with our goals of attracting high-profile sporting events that align with strong community support and the development of sport in our region.”
Last year, the event became the first NCAA Division I regular-season tournament ever played in Canada after organizers worked with Sport Hosting Vancouver to create a temporary gymnasium at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Teams played in front of a capacity crowd on three of the six days.
“We are thrilled to bring this event to Victoria this November and especially to UVic’s gorgeous CARSA Gymnasium,” Kelsey said. “Our inaugural event last year was a huge success and to have likely three Top 10 teams participating this year will be a tremendous display of basketball talent.”
In addition to Mississippi State, Stanford and Syracuse, the eight-team tournament field will include Bowling Green, Cal Baptist, Green Bay, Houston and San Francisco. The event will feature four games per day for each of the three days.
“Our teams and their fans will absolutely fall in love with Victoria and all it has to offer,” added Munro. “From the Butchart Gardens to the original Chinatown, from Victoria’s British roots to its stunning whale watching tours, this tournament will provide a unique experience for these teams, their friends, family and fans alike.”
Tournament pairings and public ticket sales will be announced at a later date.
Event info can be found at www.VictoriaInvitational.com and on social media at @VictoriaInv.