Kansas City has cast a wide net in submitting 13 proposals for NCAA championship events. The city is bidding to host championships in seven Division I and six Division II sports at venues in Kansas City and around the area.
The list of targets: Division I men’s and women’s soccer at Sporting Park; volleyball, wrestling, ice hockey at the Sprint Center; and cross country and track in Lawrence.
For Division II events, Kansas City is going after football at Sporting Park, cross country in Lawrence, field hockey and soccer at Swope Soccer Village, volleyball at Municipal Auditorium and tennis at the Plaza Tennis Center and Homestead Country Club.
The bids are for championships from 2014-18, and Kansas City is competing with many other cities for the events.
“This gives us an opportunity to show that we’re about being a championship city,” said Kathy Nelson, president of the Kansas City Sports Commission.
Ideally, Kansas City would land a Division I and II championship each year, Nelson said.
“There’s plenty of competition for these events,” Nelson said. “But we feel confident.”
All the bids need a host partner, usually a school or a conference, and Kansas City is working with several.
For the Division I championships, UMKC would be the host for the soccer championships and co-host with Kansas for volleyball. Kansas also would be the host for cross country at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence and track at the school’s new track stadium, which is under construction.
Missouri would be the host for wrestling and Nebraska-Omaha for ice hockey.
“We were strategic in who we worked with,” Nelson said.
Kansas City went with experience. Kansas, coming off an NCAA championship in women’s track and field, was a natural; Missouri, with its consistently ranked program, in wrestling; and Nebraska-Omaha in ice hockey. Nebraska-Omaha played host to a four-team tournament last season at the Sprint Center.
Kansas City was host for the NCAA volleyball championship in 2010, wrestling at Kemper Arena in 2003 and the Women’s Final Four in 1998. It’s a regular on the NCAA men’s basketball regional schedule, and the regular host of the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament, along with the NAIA and Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association basketball tournaments.
The MIAA would be the host for the Division II championships and would split men’s soccer duties with Rockhurst. The soccer championships would be played at Swope Soccer Village.
The NCAA is expected to pare down the bids to finalists by Oct. 30. Final selections for championship sites will be announced in December.
Division I basketball isn’t included in this bidding process, but Nelson said Kansas City expects to bid for men’s regionals and perhaps a Women’s Final Four.Kansas City’s NCAA championship bids
|Division I sport||Host school/conference||Venue|
|Women’s soccer||UMKC||Sporting Park|
|Men’s soccer||UMKC||Sporting Park|
|Women’s volleyball||UMKC and Kansas||Sprint Center|
|Men’s ice hockey||Nebraska-Omaha||Sprint Center|
|Men’s and women’s cross country||Kansas||Rim Rock Farm, Lawrence|
|Men’s and women’s outdoor track and field||Kansas||New KU track stadium, Lawrence|
|Division II sport||Host school/conference||Venue|
|Men’s and women’s cross country||MIAA||Rim Rock Farm, Lawrence|
|Men’s soccer||Rockhurst||Swope Soccer Village|
|Women’s soccer||MIAA||Swope Soccer Village|
|Women’s volleyball||MIAA||Municipal Auditorium|
|Men’s and women’s tennis||MIAA||Plaza Tennis Center and Homestead Country Club|