Lesbians love the Final Four

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To say that lesbians enjoy college basketball is, well, no surprise.

So, seeing a marketing and fund-raising opportunity, organizers of Atlanta Pride are taking advantage of the NCAA Women’s Championship on Tuesday and creating an event where you can sit back, knock back a few cheap drinks and financially support the folks that stage the Southeast’s signature gay event.

It’s a viewing party on April 8 at Midtown Tavern for the championship game. A (minimum) $5 donation at the door goes directly to support Pride as they organize the annual event, which has shifted both date and location this year. For your donation, you get a great place to watch the sporting event, cheap drinks and discounted food. The event begins at 7 p.m.

The championship on Tuesday will feature the winners of the Stanford-Connecticutt and LSU-Tennessee games on Sunday evening.

And if ever there was any doubt that sporty lesbians love their college hoops, a recent post on Outsports.com calls attention to a piece in the St. Petersburg Times that discusses how businesses in Tamp Bay, the site of the Women’s Final Four, are banking on a big turnout of gay fans.

Starting Friday, Tampa will become a national epicenter for gay women, thousands of whom are coming to town for the Final Four of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

Most of the activities will center on Ybor City, where clubs are hosting all-girl bands and an event called Bounce, promoted as the largest women’s party in the Tampa Bay area. The National Center for Lesbian Rights is holding a mega party at club Underground. Restaurants are offering free specials to attract gay patrons.

No one knows how many of the 21,655 fans expected to pack the St. Pete Times Forum on April 6 and 8 will be gay. Last year, national leaders in the lesbian community who attended the women’s Final Four in Cleveland estimated at least half of the fans in attendance were lesbians. Some consider that low.

“I would say 75 percent,” said Darlene Herrick, a former University of South Florida basketball player. “Of course, the other 25 percent would be in the closet.”

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