Cary Selected As One of Six Cities for the Inaugural NCAA Championship City Pilot Program
CARY SELECTED AS ONE OF SIX CITIES FOR THE INAUGURAL NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP CITY PILOT PROGRAMGames to be hosted in Cary through 2012
CARY, NC - The NCAA has selected Cary to serve as one of the inaugural members in its new "NCAA Championship City" pilot program that will feature multiple host opportunities of NCAA Division I, II and III men's and women's championships through the year 2012. Other cities selected include Cleveland, Indianapolis, St. Louis, San Diego and San Antonio.
As part of the program, Cary will be responsible for hosting the following events:
- 2008 Division I Women's College Cup - WakeMed Soccer Park
- 2009 Division I Men's College Cup - WakeMed Soccer Park
- 2010 Division I Women's College Cup - WakeMed Soccer Park
- 2010 Division II Baseball Championship - USA Baseball National Training Center
- 2011 Division III Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships - WakeMed Soccer Park Cross Country Course
- 2012 Division III Men's and Women's Tennis Championships - Cary Tennis Park
Also, the 2009 Division I Women's Basketball Regional will be held at the RBC Center in Raleigh.
"Cary's selection is a testament to the Town Council's dedication to making Cary one of America's premier host communities for amateur and collegiate athletics," said Cary's Director of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Mary Henderson. "It also makes a statement about our venues and facilities, which the NCAA has recognized as some of the finest in the nation."
Henderson noted that the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) sports marketing department had been working closely with the NCAA and the Town of Cary for more than a year to help make Cary's selection a reality.
"We thank the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau sports marketing department and North Carolina State University for their tremendous support and involvement to help make this program a reality," added Henderson. N.C. State University has served as the official host institution for each of the five NCAA College Cups held in Cary from 2003 through 2007.
"We are proud to partner with the Town of Cary on this creative, new development in the sports event industry," said Scott Dupree, vice president for sports marketing at the GRCVB. "Cary has clearly made a commitment to become a leading sports destination, especially for collegiate, youth and amateur events."
The centerpiece of the NCAA' s Championship City pilot program is a long-term agreement between the NCAA and each host city to bring a wide array of championships and ancillary events to the six geographical areas over the course of several years.
Once the Championship City model was created, the NCAA approached about three dozen cities, with 21 submitting proposals to join the pilot program. The field was narrowed to eight, then six cities, all of which had extensive experience in hosting NCAA championships in past years.
Each of the six cities selected to take part in the pilot program has hosted an NCAA championship in previous years, including various levels of the Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments. Whereas most cities that have been selected to host an NCAA championship focus on a specific division or sport, the Championship City pilot will provide the six cities with the privilege to host specific NCAA championships in Division I, II and III; a wider range of sports to host, which opens the city to a broader and diverse range of fans; rights to use enhanced NCAA marks; and NCAA marketing initiatives that identify it as a city selected specifically by the NCAA for the Championship City pilot program.
In reviewing the proposals from the cities, the NCAA looked at applications that focused on enhancing the championship experience for student-athletes, to include hospitality and pre- and post-championship activities. The group also considered proposals that would increase attendance, develop better community and regional awareness and highlight student-athlete achievements through extended media efforts. Community involvement that supported NCAA educational messaging and explained the academic and athletic accomplishments of student-athletes was considered, along with corporate community involvement and grassroots development in selection of the Championship Cities.
Through the program, the cities will work more closely with NCAA administrators to provide an enhanced championship experience for NCAA student-athletes and fans. Enhancements may include hosting social networking activities where student-athletes can communicate via the Internet about their academic and/or athletic experiences; creating a student-athlete lounge; hosting musical concerts and sports forums; hosting fan festivals that provide additional opportunities for visitors and community residents to celebrate the student-athlete and championship; and providing additional opportunities for student-athletes to interact with each other at host city attractions and venues.
"The Championship City model is a multiple-event concept that will create greater community support of the events through increased attendance and an enhanced atmosphere for the student-athletes and fans, as well as operational and economic efficiencies both for the cities and the NCAA," said NCAA President Myles Brand. "This bundling of events allows the NCAA and the cities to provide benefits collectively that individual championships would be unable to provide on their own."
PRIMARY CONTACTS: Mary Henderson, Director of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources, (919) 469-4066
Scott Dupree, GRCVB Vice President for Sports Marketing, (919) 645-2657
April Raphiou, Deputy Public Information Officer, (919) 481-5091
Susan Moran, Public Information Officer, (919) 460-4951