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Championship host symposium draws more than 270

Bid process for more than 500 preliminary and final host sites is taking place for 2022-26 events

Last month, about 270 people representing sports commissions and local organizing committees, as well as membership schools and conferences from around the country, attended a seminar in Indianapolis on hosting championships.

Those attending were provided information about the bidding process by which more than 500 preliminary and final host sites for NCAA championships in all three divisions will be awarded for the 2022-23 through 2025-26 academic years.

NCAA championship sport managers were on hand for one-on-one conversations to give details, such as facility and hotel needs, about the 86 championships that are available for host sites.

The list of attendees ranged from those representing schools that traditionally have hosted NCAA championships to those looking to gather information to make bids for the first time or expand their reach for events they’ve never hosted.

Carey Harveycutter, the director of tourism for Salem, Virginia, is a fixture when it comes to collaborating with the NCAA championships staff. Harveycutter helped his community host the Stagg Bowl in 1993, and Salem began a run of hosting 87 NCAA championships over the years.

“It all started from hosting that first Division III Football Championship game,” Harveycutter said. “I wanted to be here to see if anything is changing as far as what the NCAA is looking for when it comes to hosting championships. It is also a chance to build and maintain the relationships we’ve built along the way.”

Chris Roseman, vice president of the St. Louis Sports Commission, has worked in the past to help his city secure high-profile championships such as the Men’s Final Four and the Men’s Frozen Four. St. Louis is preparing to host the Division II National Championships Festival in the spring.

“Some of my favorite championships that we’ve done are Division II and Division III events,” Roseman said. “The approach we take is we always want to help the athletics administrators who live and breathe this stuff. I brought my whole staff to the seminar. I want them to know how strategic we need to be when we bid for NCAA championships.”

For others who don’t have the experience of Harveycutter or Roseman, the seminar offered a chance to acclimate themselves to the bid process.

Kali Mork, the director of sports for the Fargo-Moorhead Athletic Commission, has never experienced making an NCAA bid personally, but her community, on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, has hosted Division I men’s hockey regionals.

The Fargo-Moorhead area also has schools from all three divisions that may show interest in partnering with the commission.

“Since I haven’t gone through this before, it could be intimidating,” Mork said. “The seminar helped me gain an understanding of which events we should consider. We can evaluate the events and see if our facilities can really host them.”

Information on the bidding process covering 86 of the NCAA’s 90 championships is available at ncaa.org/bids.  

All bids are due Feb. 3, and bid sites will be awarded in late October 2020.

The Division I Men’s Final Four and championships for Division I baseball, Division I softball, Division I Football Championship Subdivision and Division III women’s ice hockey are excluded from this bid process. The bid process will include preliminary basketball sites.

This is the third time a unified bid process will be used to identify host sites for this scope of NCAA championships.