INDIANAPOLIS — For only the third time in its history, the NCAA undertook a site-selection process where most of its championships were put out for bid at the same time.
The result: The Association made more than 450 selections of host sites for preliminary rounds and final sites of predetermined championships in Divisions I, II and III, with most to be held from 2022-23 through 2025-26.
The NCAA received more than 3,000 bid submissions from NCAA member schools, conferences, sports commissions and cities vying to host predetermined rounds for 86 of the NCAA’s 90 championships. The sites were selected by the respective NCAA sports committees and approved by the divisional competition oversight and championships committees.
Several sports, including Division I baseball, Division I softball and the championship game of the Football Championship Subdivision were omitted from the process due to existing contracts.
In 2023, 2025 and 2026, the University of North Georgia and Lee University are the co-host members who will collaborate with Chattanooga Sports to present the Division II championship at Frost Stadium at Warner Park in Chattanooga, Tenn. The 2024 Division II championship will be held at Boombah-Soldiers Creek Park in Orlando, Fla., under the supervision of Rollins College and the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.
The 2023 Division III championship will be played at Taylor Field in Marshall, Texas, the 2018 Netting Professionals/NFCA Division III Field of the Year honoree, and home to 2010 NCAA titlist East Texas Baptist University. In 2024 and 2026, the championship will return to the James I. Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va., for the 13th and 14th times, respectively, and first since the second of back-to-back years in 2016, though it has also hosted 13 Division II championships, including most recently in 2018.
In 2025, the Division III championship will be contested at IWU Softball Field on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. The Titans were the national runner-up in 2018 and have advanced to the finals site four straight seasons (2016-19).
The 2020 Division II and III championships had been slated for Chattanooga, Tenn., and Tyler, Texas, respectively, before COVID-19 canceled the spring season.
“The response of our membership, host cities and local organizing committees to this process was tremendous,” said Joni Comstock, NCAA senior vice president of championships. “Thanks to their commitment, we are excited that our student-athletes will play in some of the top locations and venues in the United States.”
Forty-three states plus the District of Columbia were selected to host at least one NCAA championship event, with California garnering the most, with 34. Texas was second with 30, while North Carolina totaled 28, followed by Pennsylvania with 27 and Ohio with 25.
This was the first time the site-selection process has been held since the NCAA changed its policy preventing states with legal wagering based on single-game betting from hosting its championships. Therefore, the state of Nevada will host a predetermined NCAA championship for the first time since 1991, when the Thomas and Mack Center on the campus of UNLV hosted a Division I Women’s Basketball Regional. The Silver State will host 11 events, including a 2023 Division I Men’s Basketball Regional and the 2026 Men’s Frozen Four.
“While the NCAA seeks federal legislation to better regulate sports wagering, particularly to safeguard college sports competitions, we are excited to bring our national championships to Las Vegas,” said Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball. “The city has hosted numerous championships sponsored by our member conferences, and the experience of the teams and fans has been overwhelmingly positive. We anticipate that being the case for our championships as well.”
The NCAA sports committees made the nearly 450 selections of host sites based on criteria that included the ability to create an outstanding experience for student-athletes, along with adherence to NCAA sport-specific bid specifications. Specifications can include, but are not limited to, providing optimal facilities; ease of travel to the location and ample lodging; and adherence to NCAA principles, which include providing an atmosphere that is safe and respects the dignity of all attendees.
Some content courtesy of NCAA