By Greg Johnson
A coordinated process for NCAA championship bids in all divisions will be used to award more than 500 preliminary and final host sites for the 2014-15 through 2017-18 academic years.
“We are really excited about this new approach,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president for championships and alliances. “This will be the largest undertaking for championship bids in the history of the NCAA, and we hope it will yield the best experiences for the student-athletes in our history as well.”
While information is already available at www.ncaa.org/bids, the request for bids on 82 of the NCAA’s 89 championships hosting opportunities will begin officially with NCAA championships staff-hosted webinars June 17-21 for schools, conferences, sports commissions, local organizing committees and others to inform entities interested in bidding about the new process. The NCAA championships staff also will conduct a hosting symposium June 26-27 in Indianapolis.
The bid portal will open July 15 and intents to bid declarations will be due Aug. 9. All bids will be due Sept. 16 and bid sites will be awarded in December.
The Division I Men’s and Women’s Final Fours are excluded from that timeline. Entities wishing to make host bids to be Men’s or Women’s Final Four sites for 2017, 2018 and 2019 will receive bid specifications by Sept. 16, and the deadline to finalize a bid is May 2, 2014. The Final Four sites will be announced in fall 2014.
In addition, there will be no request for bids for the Division I Baseball Championship, the Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, the Division I Football (Championship Subdivision) Championship and the Division I Softball Championship. The baseball, football and softball championships already have hosting deals in place, while the golf championships are working through logistics with the Golf Channel.
This process is intended to increase awareness of prospective hosts for timely bid submissions. In addition, by naming championships host sites this far in advance, it will help with better planning on both ends, Lewis stressed.
“We feel like this will allow for greater strategy from the host institutions and cities as well as the NCAA,” said Lewis. “It will also create efficiencies in areas such as signage and hotels that will ultimately create a better experience for everyone involved.”
Potential championships hosts will be provided the following pertinent information: