May 7, 2010

NCAA Release

The NCAA and the Indiana Sports Corporation have reached an agreement to conduct each of the Divisions I, II and III Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis twice between 2012 and 2017.

The national meets will be at the IU Natatorium on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

The six-year schedule is as follows:

2012 - Division III Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, March 21-24.
2013 - Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, March 21-23; and Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, March 28-30.
2014 - Division III Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, March 19-22.
2015 - Division II Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, March 10-14.
2016 - Division II Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, March 8-12.
2017 - Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, March 16-18; and Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, March 23-25.
The announcement is the latest milestone in a long-term agreement between the NCAA and the Indiana Sports Corporation on behalf of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana to hold more NCAA events in the city annually through the term of the NCAA's lease for its national office building in Indianapolis, which lasts at least through 2039.

The original 2004 agreement (which included NCAA basketball championship events and the NCAA Convention being held regularly in Indianapolis) was recently enhanced with the NCAA's commitment to work with the city and state to bring more of the Association's championships, as well as meetings of its vast committee structure, to Indianapolis.

Indianapolis and the Indiana Sports Corporation joined five other cities named to the NCAA's Championship City pilot program in September 2008. The Championship City pilot program features multiple host opportunities of NCAA Divisions I, II and III men's and women's championships. The centerpiece of the program is a long-term agreement between the NCAA and each host city to bring an array of championships and ancillary events to the six geographical areas over the course of several years.

Indianapolis recently hosted the 2010 NCAA Men's Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium, and will host the NCAA Men's Final Four in 2015 and the NCAA Women's Final Four in 2011 and 2016. The Indiana Sports Corporation is also a local host of the upcoming 2010 NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championships (May 18-21 at The Sagamore Club).

"With today's announcement that the NCAA swimming and diving championships will return to Indianapolis over multiple years, we have accomplished our goal of returning to the NCAA's rotation for these sports, while also bringing marquee events to one of our region's great athletics venues - the IU Natatorium," said Susan Williams (left), president of the Indiana Sports Corporation. "We are pleased to partner with Indiana Swimming and local host institutions as we continue the long history of hosting great swimming and diving events in Indianapolis."

Indiana Swimming, the governing body for the sport in the state of Indiana, also played a role in securing the six-year agreement.

Indianapolis and the IU Natatorium are no strangers to hosting NCAA swimming and diving championships. The Division I men's and women's meets were held there nine times from 1983 through 1999. The Division II meet was in Indianapolis in 2006, as well.

The agreement also does not affect the championship format or the date formula for any of the championships, except in 2012 when the Division III men's and women's meet will be held a week later than normal because of facility availability. That also is the case with next year's Division III meet in Knoxville, Tennessee. However, Division III will return to its traditional third-week-in-March formula thereafter.

In addition, the Division I men's and women's meets will continue to be held separately. The Division II meet has been a combined event for many years, while Division III went to a combined format in 2009.

"The collaborative effort among all parties involved in this agreement allows longer-range planning and access to the natatorium while not to the exclusion of other quality hosts," said Joni Comstock, NCAA senior vice president for championships. "This schedule also supports each division in the championship format they find optimal, while providing a memorable experience for our swimming and diving student-athletes competing for an NCAA championship in the natatorium."

IUPUI will serve as the NCAA member institution host for the Division I championships. The University of Indianapolis will fill that role for the Division II meets and Franklin College will serve as host for the Division III finals.

The IU Natatorium is the largest indoor swimming venue in the country and is a regular host for the USA Swimming Nationals. That event in 2009 sold out with approximately 3,500 fans during each of the five nights of finals competition.

The natatorium provides ample deck space, warm-up pools, diving facilities and locker rooms, as well as space for ancillary areas essential to the championships.

"There is such a rich history of swimming and amateur sports in Indianapolis, so it's a tremendous opportunity to go back to the natatorium to conduct our championships, not just for one division but all three over that time," said Oakland University Athletics Director Tracy Huth, who chairs the NCAA Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Committee. "The facility has been held in very high regard for decades - it has a special place in a lot of people's hearts. It's a testament to the facility that we're going there to conduct what are considered to be the fastest meets in the world.

"With this arrangement, our student-athletes will have an opportunity to compete at one of the top swimming and diving facilities in the country."