Championship Info

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis' storied soccer tradition is about to get even richer. The Gateway City " considered by some as the birthplace of soccer's popularity in America " will host the NCAA Men's College Cup in December 2006. The NCAA's Division I Men's Soccer Committee awarded the national championship to St. Louis on Friday.

Saint Louis University and the St. Louis Sports Commission will host the event Dec. 1 and 3, 2006 at Robert R. Hermann Stadium on the SLU campus. Both entities worked together to produce the successful bid. The St. Louis region last hosted the Men's College Cup in 1975 (at Southern Illinois University"Edwardsville).

"We are very excited to bring college soccer's biggest event back to St. Louis," said Sports Commission President Frank Viverito. "There is no community more steeped in tradition and more proud of its rich soccer history. In recent years, St. Louis has been an untapped market when it comes to high-profile soccer events. Hosting the 2006 College Cup gives us the chance to showcase our tremendous soccer community and make this a very meaningful event."

SLU Director of Athletics Cheryl Levick said: "We are extremely proud and honored to bring the 2006 NCAA College Cup to the Saint Louis University campus. As SLU is the home of 10 NCAA men's soccer championships, hosting this event at Robert R. Hermann Stadium brings a truly historic slant to the event. Co-hosting with the top-notch St. Louis Sports Commission, we will turn our campus into a soccer mecca and create a first-class setting for fans, friends, media and the College Cup participants."

With the addition of the 2006 Men's College Cup, St. Louis will be home to a remarkable 10 NCAA Division I championships in five different sports this decade. Those events are listed at the end of this release. St. Louis will also host its eighth men's Division I soccer championship, a testament to the area's unique link to the sport and the strength of SLU soccer " one of the nation's premier programs. The Billikens have won a record 10 NCAA men's soccer championships and have made 42 NCAA Tournament appearances. The school has led the nation in average attendance three of the past six seasons.

"Hosting collegiate soccer's premier event is the chance of a lifetime for our program," said SLU head coach Dan Donigan. "The College Cup will give the St. Louis community and the rest of the country the opportunity to see the best college soccer has to offer in a great environment. There is no better venue in this country to host college soccer's championship than Robert R. Hermann Stadium. Fans will see the passion that Saint Louis University, our community, and our organizing committee have for this great game. I anticipate a first-class event in every aspect."

Recognized as one of the top college soccer facilities in the nation with an outstanding playing surface, Robert R. Hermann Stadium will have its capacity increased for the 2006 College Cup. Temporary seating and suites will be added on the north and south sides of the field raising the capacity from 6,050 to more than 7,100.

Besides boasting an outstanding venue, the St. Louis bid focused on the region's storied soccer past and its passion for the sport. St. Louis has long been a soccer hotbed and a great market for international matches, professional indoor soccer and the college game. At the grassroots level, 50,000 kids play organized soccer in the region. Several players who have represented the United States in the World Cup have grown up on the area's soccer fields, including five St. Louisans who were part of the 1950 U.S. World Cup team that defeated England in one of the biggest upsets in sports, as well as more recent stars like Brian McBride and Mike Sorber.

Previous hosts of the NCAA Men's College Cup since 2000 include Charlotte, N.C., (2000); Columbus, Ohio (2001 & 2003); Dallas (2002); and Carson, Calif., (2004). The 2005 championship takes place Dec. 9 and 11 at the SAS Soccer Stadium in Cary, N.C. Ticket information and other event details for the 2006 Men's College Cup in St. Louis will be announced later this year.

In addition to the future NCAA Championships set for St. Louis, the community will also host the 2006 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships " presented locally by Schnucks " Jan. 7-15 at Savvis Center and the Family Arena; the 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball St. Louis Regional at the Edward Jones Dome; and the Missouri-Illinois Football Series annually beginning in 2007 " also at the Edward Jones Dome.

NCAA Division I Mens Soccer Championship appearances in St. Louis
Year/Site
1961/Public Schools Stadium
1962/Fairgrounds Park
1965/Francis Field
1967/Francis Field
1970/Edwardsville, Ill.
1974/Busch Stadium
1975/Edwardsville, Ill.

Perfect 10: NCAA Division I Championships in St. Louis this decade
¢2000 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
¢2001 NCAA Womens Final Four
¢2004 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
¢2005 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
¢2005 NCAA Mens Final Four
¢2006 NCAA Mens College Cup
¢2007 NCAA Mens Frozen Four
¢2008 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
¢2009 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
¢2009 NCAA Womens Final Four

-- Courtesy St. Louis Sports Commission