NCAA Championship Sites Include Another Tampa Frozen Four, Six Events In St. Louis
The NCAA yesterday announced that three returning hosts and one new venue will host the men's Frozen Fours from '15-18. TD Garden in Boston will host its third Frozen Four in '15, while the Tampa Bay Times Forum will host its second in '16. Chicago's United Center will make its debut hosting the event in '17, while Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul will get its third Frozen Four in '18 (THE DAILY). Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said of the '16 event, "We're really excited about that. Tampa did an amazing job last time. I think they recognize that." In Tampa, Joey Knight notes the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and the Univ. of Wisconsin "collaborated on the latest bid which, unlike the one submitted by Tampa eight years ago for the 2012 event, was not done in person." Both "will serve as co-hosts." TBSC Exec Dir Rob Higgins said, "I think our presentation really was the 2012 Frozen Four. That was really our audition. We're a nontraditional site, we'll be the first to tell you that. But our affinity and our love for treating the student-athletes and fans at the highest level possible, it can't be denied." Higgins declined to offer financial specifics, saying such a disclosure could "hurt us the next time we're fortunate to be able to bid on it." He added that the "geographically bizarre partnership with Wisconsin is more natural than it seems." UW has previously "played in four Outback Bowls at Raymond James Stadium," and former NCAA D-I men's ice hockey committee Chair Sean Frazier previously worked at the school (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 12/12). The '18 tournament will be "the eighth time Minnesota has hosted an NCAA Frozen Four," with the previous two at Xcel Energy Center. The '02 Frozen Four "set multiple arena and NCAA attendance records (ST.PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/12).
GATEWAY TO CHAMPIONSHIPS: In St. Louis, Stu Durando notes after the city "established an attendance record" for the '12 NCAA D-I wrestling championships, it was "not a surprise that the NCAA awarded the event to Scottrade Center" in '15 and '17. Last year, 112,393 "attended the three days of competition, and the city has four of the top five attendance marks of all time." By earning the tournament for two more years, St. Louis "will have hosted the event eight times -- more than any other city." However, the "other six NCAA events that landed in St. Louis are somewhat less familiar for the St. Louis Sports Commission." Chaifetz Arena will host the '17 and '18 women's gymnastics championships, as well as D-II wrestling in '15. Tropicana Lanes will host women's bowling in '15 and '18, and Family Arena was awarded women's hockey in '17 (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/12).
MORE FOR MO: In K.C., Blair Kerkhoff notes the greater K.C. area was awarded 14 NCAA championships yesterday, "more than any other city." Soccer, volleyball and football national championships are "coming to the Kansas City area" from '14-18. The NCAA D-I men's College Cup "will be played at Sporting Park" in '15. The D-I women's volleyball championship "returns to the Sprint Center" in '17, and the D-II football championship "will be played at Sporting Park" from '14-17 (K.C. STAR, 12/12).
RUNNING IN PLACE: In Portland, Ken Goe noted the NCAA awarding the D-I track and field championships to Hayward Field through '21 could be "the first step toward making Eugene the meet's permanent home." The Univ. of Oregon hosted last year's event, and "already was scheduled to hold the meet" in '14. UO Senior Associate AD and TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna said that the NCAA and UO would "examine the arrangement after a few years." Lananna: "We'll see what makes sense for both sides" (OREGONLIVE.com, 12/11).