The NCAA Volleyball Championship is one of the most highly anticipated events in college sports, bringing together over 5,500 volleyball student-athletes across the country to compete for the national title.
The 2023 edition of the contest is fast approaching, and we already know the information about the venue, schedule, and qualification process. So, below, we will guide you on everything you need to know about the upcoming National Championship – from the tournament’s format to the various activities available in the host city. So, let’s get started!
Tampa will Host the National Championship in 2023
Tampa has been chosen to host the Women’s Volleyball Championship in 2023, and the event will take place at Amalie Arena. This is the second time that Tampa Bay will serve as the host city for the championship, with the previous occasion being in 2009.
Furthermore, Tampa has a distinguished history of hosting the Women’s Final Four, having done so a record three times. In 2008, 2015, and 2019, the city welcomed more fans than any other city in the history of the Women’s Final Four, with a total of 123,039 fans attending these events. In 2019, sellout crowds totaling 40,189 fans filled Amalie Arena as the Baylor Lady Bears were crowned national champions. Given this impressive track record, there is no doubt that Tampa will be an excellent host city for this year’s Women’s Volleyball Championship.
Getting Around in Tampa
Here is a quick guide on getting around in Tampa if you’re planning to attend the NCAA Volleyball Championship, including tips on accommodation and transportation to the arena.
Where to Stay
There are plenty of great accommodation options available for tourists looking to stay near the Amalie Arena. As such, you can choose to stay at one of the many hotels located within walking distance of the arena:
- Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown Convention Center
- Aloft Tampa Downtown
- Hilton Tampa Downtown
- Four Seasons Hotel Tampa Bay
- Tampa Marriott Water Street
- Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel
These options offer a range of amenities, including fitness centers, on-site dining, and easy access to nearby attractions, such as casinos. Thus, if you look for some excitement, try your luck at the baccarat game, or enjoy a night of dining and entertainment.
That said, if your budget is limited, you can try to book a vacation rental, such as an apartment or condo. Websites such as Airbnb and VRBO offer a variety of choices that can accommodate individuals or groups of all sizes.
How to Get
The Tampa International Airport is conveniently located just a few miles from downtown, and there are plenty of transportation options available, including rental cars, ride-sharing services, and public transportation.
Once you’re downtown, Amalie Arena is within walking distance or a short ride away. Additionally, Tampa’s compact downtown area is bike-friendly, and bike rentals are available for those who prefer to explore the city on two wheels.
Amalie Arena Guide
When visiting Amalie Arena, there are plenty of exciting experiences to enhance your trip. You can enjoy a private VIP entry through the Ashley VIP Lounge doors located on Ford Thunder Alley for a seamless entry into the arena.
Once inside, take a look at the best food and beverage options, all included in your ticket price. This experience is open from door time, which is typically 60-90 minutes prior to the ticketed show time, until 15 minutes before the main event.
Additionally, you can take a behind-the-scenes tour of AMALIE Arena on Tampa Bay Lightning game days. The tour starts 3.5 hours before the game time and costs $15 per person, while children under five are free.
To attend the tour, arrive at the South ADA entrance at least 15 minutes before the tour starts. Without any doubt, all of these unique experiences make the Amalie Arena a must-visit destination during your trip to Tampa.
Road to the Championship
In addition to the overview of the National Championship and its behind-the-scenes activities, this post would be incomplete without acknowledging that teams have to complete a five-step qualification process. The following is a breakdown of each step, along with the relevant dates and formats.
To qualify for the 2023 Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, 64 teams will be selected to compete in a single elimination tournament. Of these teams, 32 will gain automatic qualification, while the remaining 32 will be chosen on an at-large basis by the Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee.
To gain insight into which teams and players may emerge as favorites in this process, take a look at our list of the top 5 women’s volleyball players and teams of all time.
Selection Show: Nov. 26, 2023
The bracket for the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship will be revealed on the Sunday prior to the commencement of the first round of matches.
First and Second Rounds: Dec. 1-2, 2023
Both the first and second rounds will be hosted at various campus sites across the country. The first round features single-elimination matches with the winners advancing to the second round for another round of single-elimination matches. The top 16 teams who come out victorious in the second round will then move on to the regional round.
Regionals: Dec. 7-9, 2023
The regional phase of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship will also take place at non-predetermined campus sites. During this stage, teams will participate in single-elimination matches, starting with the regional semifinals. The winners will then move on to the regional finals, which will also be a single-elimination round.
National Championship: Dec. 14-16, 2023
Amalie Arena in Tampa, which is co-hosted by the University of South Florida and Tampa Bay Sports Commission, will be the venue for the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship. On Dec. 14, the national semifinals will take place, and the winners of those matches will advance to the national championship on Dec. 16.