The NCAA on Wednesday announced 523 sites have been awarded as hosts for 82 of its 89 championships for the 2014-18 seasons, making it the largest collection of host site announcements in association history.
The original pool of bids included 1,984 submissions. The sites were selected by the respective sport committees, made up of coaches and administrators from NCAA member schools and conferences, and ultimately approved by the appropriate divisional championships cabinets or committees. Previously, selection announcements varied by sport. This new process gives the NCAA and host sites more time to plan each championship experience. In addition, it creates efficiencies across championships allowing for better coordination and planning by the NCAA and its hosts.
“We really want to thank everyone who put in a bid,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances. “The competitiveness of the bids made it extremely difficult for the sport committees to select sites as there just weren’t spots for all of the great bids we received. Ultimately the sites that were selected will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans the best experience possible.”
The bidding process began in July and final submissions were due in mid-September. Each sport committee, per division, then selected the host sites it believed would provide the ultimate experience for the competing student-athletes.
The selected cities represent 39 states across the United States. Florida led the way as the state with the most championship site selections with 42 sites, while the state of Pennsylvania had 34 selections and Texas finished with 30. California and North Carolina rounded out the top five with 29 each.
Among the highlights of the 523 sites:
• The Division I wrestling championships will head to Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2016. It will be the first finals site in MSG since the Men’s Final Four in 1950.
• The Men’s Frozen Four goes to the United Center in Chicago in 2017, the first time that event has been held at the home of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.
• Divisions I and III women’s lacrosse join the Men’s Lacrosse Championships in Philadelphia at PPL Park and Lincoln Financial Field respectively in 2015 and 2016, creating a new event experience with five of the six championships in the same city on the same weekend.
• The Divisions I, II, III Field Hockey Championship will be held at a joint site in Louisville in 2017, only the second time in the history of the championships that they will all be decided in the same city.
• The Division III Football Championship Game, the Stagg Bowl, will be in Salem, Va. for four more years (2014-17), extending the streak for the game at Salem Stadium to 25 years.
• Historic Hayward Field and the University of Oregon will host the Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships from 2015 through 2021, making it the only championship to be awarded beyond 2018.
Seven championships were not included in the process due to preexisting site arrangements, including: Division I baseball, Division I men’s basketball, Division I football, Division I men’s and women’s golf, Division I softball and Division III women’s ice hockey.
For the complete list of 523 championship event sites selected, click here.