For the third time in history, the U SPORTS women’s basketball Final 8 is coming to Edmonton, as U SPORTS announced Tuesday that its 2024 championship has been awarded to the University of Alberta.
The U of A previously hosted the event in 2000 and 2001.
“We are delighted to bring another U SPORTS championship back to the University of Alberta and the City of Edmonton,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U SPORTS Chief Sport Officer. “The 2024 women’s basketball Final 8 will mark the fourth U SPORTS championship held at the Saville Community Sport Centre, with Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics having recently hosted the 2017 men’s volleyball championship, 2019 women’s volleyball championship, and 2022 men’s basketball Final 8. We are confident the Pandas will host an exceptional championship experience for participants and fans.”
The successful bid to secure the championship further enhances the City of Edmonton’s status as the home of women’s basketball in Canada, with the Saville Centre also being home to the Senior Women’s National Team since 2013.
“Being awarded the right to host this event and to celebrate fantastic student-athletes is the result of the collective efforts of our athletics staff, the Pandas basketball team and alumni, the GO Sports Partners and the Saville Community Sports Centre, Edmonton Events and our corporate sponsors. We invite all of the fans and supporters of Golden Bears & Pandas Athletics to pack Saville in March 2024 and to show U SPORTS and the rest of Canada how excited you are about the Pandas and Women's Basketball," said University of Alberta Interim Director of Athletics, Katie Spriggs.
"We are thrilled to be awarded the 2024 U SPORTS championship. For our athletes to have the opportunity to play for a national championship on their home court is going to be a special experience,” said Pandas head coach Scott Edwards. “For our basketball community to see the best players in the country compete in Edmonton will hopefully inspire them to be like those players. We can't wait to welcome the best teams in the country to the Saville Centre in 2024!”
The Pandas Basketball program is consistently one of the top teams in Canada West, with Scott Edwards owning a 239-77 career conference record. The Pandas have qualified for the national tournament in six of Edwards’ 17 seasons, highlighted by a national silver medal in 2007 and bronze in 2009.
U SPORTS will continue to unveil its 2024 and 2025 hockey and basketball championship hosts over the coming months.