The NCAA on Wednesday announced the host site finalists for the final round of 81 of its 89 championships for the 2014-18 championship seasons.
The finalists were selected by the respective sport committees, which are made up of coaches and administrators from NCAA member schools and conferences, from an original pool of 1,948 bids. The committees will select the winning sites, which must then be approved by the appropriate divisional championships cabinets/committees before being announced via webcast at NCAA.com on Dec. 11. The announcement also will include all pre-determined regional host sites.
“We had a tremendous response to the request for bids which made this an extremely difficult process for our sports committees,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances. “We really feel these sites will all provide a tremendous experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans. Therefore there will be some really difficult decisions by the sport committees coming up as they determine who will ultimately host the championships.”
The 150 cities named as finalists for at least one championship are spread across 39 states and the District of Columbia. Ohio led the way as the state with the most finalist selections with 24 championship sites, while the state of Florida had 22 selections and North Carolina had 21. Louisville was the city that received the most selections with 13, while Columbus, Ohio, and Birmingham, Ala., both had eight.
There are 213 hosting opportunities for the finals site of the 81 championships. Cities were able to bid for one or more years of the same championship.
WRESTLING FINALISTS (with city/arena/host college)
Cleveland – Quicken Loans Arena – Mid-American Conference/Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Kansas City – Spirit Center – Missouri/KC Sports Commission
Louisville – KFC YUM Center – Louisville/Louisville Sports Commission
New York City – Madison Square Garden – Hofstra
Oklahoma City – Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma State/Oklahoma City All Sports Association
Pittsburgh – CONSOL Energy Center – West Virginia
Philadelphia – Wells Fargo Center – Rider/Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
St. Louis – Scottrade Center – Missouri/St. Louis Sports Commission
Kearney, Neb. – UNK Health & Sports Center – Nebraska-Kearney
Sioux Falls, S.D. – Sanford Premier Center – Northern Sun/Sioux Falls Sports Authority
St. Louis – Chaifetz Arena – Maryville/St. Louis Sports Commission
Waterloo, Iowa – Young Arena – Upper Iowa
* 2017 Winter Sports Festival Finalists*
Birmingham, Ala. – CrossPlex – City of Birmingham
Geneva, Ohio – Site TBD – Ashland/Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Cellular One Center – Cornell College
Cleveland – Cleveland Public Auditorium – Baldwin-Wallace/Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Hershey, Pa. – Giant Center – Elizabethtown College
La Crosse, Wis. – La Crosse Center – UW-La Crosse