The tournament’s success was built on the 2018 women’s basketball final four, which saw a record crowd of 39.123 people. This is more impressive when you consider Nationwide Arena can hold 19,500 basketball players.
Columbus is a premier venue for women’s sport.
Some of the most memorable sports games ever recorded were the 2018 NCAA women’s basketball final fours and the 2021 NCAA women’s volleyball final fours. They proved Linda Logan right: Columbus is a city that can host great events and has high-quality women’s sports.
Logan, executive director of Greater Columbus Sports Commission, stated that although we don’t have a dome-shaped stadium to host a men’s Final Four event, we know where our sweet spot is. “In this instance, the volleyball and women’s final fours are both in that area.”
Despite having two of the most passionate volleyball fans in the country, Nebraska and Wisconsin are impressive in that the venue held 96% capacity even without Ohio State. This is even more remarkable considering that women’s college basketball gets more media and television exposure than women’s volleyball throughout each season and NCAA tournament. Yet, the crowds were almost identical.
With 18,755 people watching the final at Nationwide Arena, between Wisconsin and Nebraska, Columbus broke Saturday’s NCAA women’s volleyball championship match attendance record. This solidified Columbus’ credibility as a venue and city for some of the country’s most important women’s sporting events.
The total attendance at the championship match and final four was 35,286. This is only 2,000 less than the 2017 NCAA volleyball final four records in Kansas City when Nebraska won a championship just three hours away from its campus. The total attendance for 2021 was higher than the 34,015 who attended the 2016 event in Columbus.
Jen Flynn Oldenburg, Ohio State women’s volleyball coach, said that the crowd displayed the excitement for volleyball in Columbus.
Oldenburg stated, “I think it speaks volumes about where the growth of the game is for volleyball that we sold out on a night such as that without Ohio State in finals.” It was cool to see the younger generation taking photos with the court in the background.