Baltimore Aims To Become Regular Host For NCAA Lacrosse Championships
Maryland plans to "submit a bid this summer that it hopes will fulfill its vision of making Baltimore a 'semi-permanent' home of the NCAA lacrosse championships," according to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore SUN. The city already is a "frequent home to the NCAA lacrosse final four and championship games." It hosted the men's and women's championships in '10, the men's championships in '11 and will host the men's and women's Final Fours in '14. The NCAA by the end of the year plans to "name host cities for championships in lacrosse and other sports" from the '14-15 academic year through '17-18. The NCAA "has not committed to awarding multiple championships to any site." NCAA Associate Dir of Championships Jeff Jarnecke said that there are "advantages -- and disadvantages -- to repeatedly returning a championship to the same venue." Maryland Office of Sports Marketing Exec Dir Terry Hasseltine said that he expects the NCAA also would "evaluate sites in the west and Midwest -- regions in which interest in lacrosse has been growing" (Baltimore SUN, 5/21). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith notes the new bidding process will make NCAA championship events "available for four-year cycles, which is designed to give host sites more time to plan." The new process is expected to be "most beneficial and efficient for sports commissions in cities that typically host more than one championship event." The NCAA also will "do more to market the bid process in an effort to generate bids from a greater number and variety of potential hosts." The only championships "not available are baseball, softball, FCS football, and men's and women's golf." These sports are "locked into unique or long-term deals" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/20 issue).
RUNNING THE NUMBERS: INSIDELACROSSE.com's Casey Vock wrote Lucas Oil Stadium drawing a crowd of 7,749 for the men's Division I quarterfinals this past weekend is "a win for lacrosse and its fans." The NCAA "did a fine job hosting the events, and the games were awesome." Meanwhile, INSIDELACROSSE.com's John Jiloty noted the "third-smallest crowd for an NCAA Quarterfinal came Saturday in College Park." Despite a "cold, rainy day this is playoff lacrosse in the sport's epicenter." A crowd of "more than 4,000 should have come out to Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium on Saturday." Why the quarterfinals "compete with Preakness is a good question" (INSIDELACROSSE.com, 5/20).