NAIA women's basketball championship coming to Billings - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

NAIA women's basketball championship coming to Billings

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A national sporting event is coming to the Magic City. Billings was awarded the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championships for 2017 and 2018.

It marks a first for Billings when it comes to a national sporting event. 

The announcement came Tuesday morning at Rimrock Auto Arena during a news conference. The tournament is bringing in 31 teams.

In the competition is Billings' very own, Rocky Mountain College.

"This is going to be a tournament for everybody. This isn't just for girls or for boys it's for fans, or grandma, grandpas, aunts and uncles, just the great basketball fans that we have in this community," Rocky Mountain College Athletic Director Bruce Parker said.

 Billings Chamber of Commerce and Rocky Mountain College helped make getting the national tournament to the Magic City. Billings Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of Board of Directors Bill Cole says the tournament shows the next step for Billings hosting sporting events.

"These events brings millions of dollars into our community. Billings Chamber is always focused on growing our community and bringing those dollars, filling those motel rooms and every other community wants the same thing," Cole said.

Both tournaments will be held at MetraPark Rimrock Auto Arena. MetraPark's Marketing and Sales Director Ray Massie says MetraPark is well suited and well prepared to host the tournament.

"All the different partners you hear about from Wells Fargo, Red Lion Hotel and Convention Center, all those partners are really part of what makes this happen for us. I don't want to diminish what we do. It's another event in our building," Massie said.

Cole says in order to continue these kinds of events, they need the community's support.

"We want to have them come back that means we need to fill these seats. We need everybody to come out and enjoy some fun basketball, root on the women that are going to be playing here, and root on your community. That means buying tickets and coming and having a great time," Cole said.

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