NCTTA Leaders Reviewing Future Championship Bids

By Andy Kanengiser, NCTTA Media Chair | Jan. 10, 2017, 5:36 p.m. (ET)

NCTTA

NCTTA Leaders Reviewing Future Championship Bids

The road to the 2018 NCTTA championships is getting a little clearer.

By mid-January 2017, the NCTTA leadership team expects to select a site for their biggest tournament of the season.

Bids were submitted to NCTTA headquarters by a December 9 deadline. Leaders will closely examine proposals from states like California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and North Carolina.

About 300 of the best collegiate table tennis players in the USA will show up for three fantastic days of competition in April 2018. Exactly where will be determined early in the new year.

"We are pleased to receive an abundance of proposals from cities across the nation,'' said NCTTA President Willy Leparulo. "Our college players bring amazing skill levels, and am sure the games will attract plenty of fans. Our national championships always provide a nice economic boost to the city we pick.''

Over the next few weeks, NCTTA officials will examine the proposals turned in. They will study venue lighting, tournament space requirements, flooring needs, costs, and concession stands. Seating for fans, the availability of hotel rooms, banquet facilities, and volunteer staffing are also in the mix.

"We want to get as much feedback from our members as possible,'' Leparulo said Friday. " There is much more involved than simply going to a city for the sake of convenience. We really value your input.''

Proposals include bids from Hershey, Pennsylvania. It's huge Giant Center is home of the Hershey Bears hockey team and hosts concerts like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra plus entertaining shows by basketball's Harlem Globetrotters. The 10,500-seat arena has plenty of room for a table tennis tournament.

Tourists might want to check out Hershey Park, Hershey Gardens, the Indian Echo Caverns and go to the factory where Hershey Bars are manufactured. The city in the Keystone State isn't far from the state capital of Harrisburg. Monroeville, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh hosted the 2014 NCTTA championships.

Another possibility for the 2018 NCTTA tournament is Greensboro, North Carolina. The bustling bills itself as "Tournament Town.'' It is home to 800 major events each year. Greensboro hosted the USA Olympic table tennis team trials earlier in 2016. Greensboro touts its 197,000-square-foot coliseum as one of the finest around. The Greensboro Swarm, the NBA's "D League'' team plays its games there.

Greensboro residents are really into sports big-time. The city supports a pro soccer team. The Greensboro Grasshoppers is the name of the South Atlantic League's Class A team owned by MLB's Florida Marlins. Students are familiar with the city because it houses the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The Greensboro, N.C. Convention & Visitors Bureau submitted the proposal.

The list of potential championship candidates goes on. The 2016 TMS championship games were played in Round, Rock, Texas last March. Guess what? Round Rock leaders hope to bring the 2018 tournament back to their city near Austin. The San Antonio, Texas Table Tennis Club offers to assist with volunteers.

Officials with Spartanburg, South Carolina's Upper Star Center say they wish to host the table tennis games, too.

Other bidders include Goldsboro, North Carolina, and Bloomington, Minnesota. Bloomington is the city nearby that shoppers' paradise, the Mall of America, and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul. NCTTA leaders remember that Rochester, Minnesota hosted the tournament in April 2009 when there was snow on the ground.

Want to venture out West? The Tri Valley area of northern California seeks to attract hundreds of table tennis players, coaches, fans and volunteers in 2018. It's not too far from Stanford University and high-tech firms.

As the holiday season nears, table tennis supporters are asked to evaluate the details posted on the NCTTA website about potential 2018 tournament sites.

Meanwhile, the NCTTA community looks forward to the 2017 championships in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The April 7-9 tournament site is the University of Wisconsin campus at Eau Claire that hosted the college games in 2015.