TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR 2014 NCAA DII OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS MAY 22-24 AT GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY, A FIRST FOR MICHIGAN
Elite Collegiate Running Championship to Attract 750 Male and Female Athletes and 300 Coaches from 100 Schools around the Country, Generating an Estimated $1.4 Million in Economic Impact
Grand Rapids, Mich., April 1, 2014 – Michigan running enthusiasts can buy tickets now to witness some of the top runners in the country this spring when the 2014 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships come to Michigan for the first time, May 22-24 at Grand Valley State University (GVSU).
“Grand Rapids is a running town, between our incredible track facilities and diverse terrain, so it’s an honor to be the first city in Michigan to host this event featuring elite running athletes,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission who submitted the winning bid and is co-hosting the event with GVSU. “If you enjoy running, this is your chance to see some of the best college athletes in the country.”
Tournament Brings Michigan Athletes, Economic Impact
The NCAA DII Outdoor Track and Field Championships brings together the top runners from more than 100 universities in the country, including many Michigan schools in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) such as Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Hillsdale College and others– drawing approximately 750 athletes and 300 coaches to the three-day meet. The event follows on the heels of the NCAA DII Indoor Track and Field Championships that wrapped up in March, at which Grand Valley State University’s women’s team finished fourth and men’s team finished sixth.
“You’ll see lots of Michigan universities and local athletes competing in the DII Outdoor Championships, giving you a chance to cheer on your favorite local school,” said Guswiler. “A couple of these athletes are even expected to break national records.”
Not only does the event provide a prime running spectator sport, but it also will be a boost to the local economy, estimated to inject $1.4 million in economic impact along with 3,500 hotel room nights booked. That impact will be repeated when the event returns in 2015.
National Stage for Grand Rapids’ Running Facilities
Grand Valley State University will host the meet at its state-of-the-art outdoor track facility, one of the reasons Grand Rapids won the NCAA championship bid. Completed in 2012, the lighted, 400-meter outdoor track features nine lanes and a Beynon athletic surface, along with extensive field event facilities; plus permanent seating for 800 with the ability to bring in additional seating for tournaments like this.
“The 2014 and 2015 DII championship bid awards are a testament to the quality of our first-class athletic facilities and a great way to showcase them on a national stage,” said Keri Becker, associate athletic director for Grand Valley State University and meet director for the NCAA DII event. “Not only does Grand Valley State have winning track & field teams plus one of the most highly decorated coaches with Jerry Baltes, but we have a facility that is a crown jewel in the running world.”
Grand Valley State University also will host the 2016 USA Track and Field Outdoor Masters Nationals, another feather in the cap for GVSU and Grand Rapids in hosting national running tournaments.
Ticket and General Information
Tickets for the NCAA DII Outdoor Track and Field Championships can be purchased online or at (616) 331-3200. Single-day tournament tickets can be purchased for $8 for children through 17 years, students (ID required) and seniors 55+; and $12 for adults. A weekend pass providing access for all three days also is available for $12 for children, students and seniors; and $20 for adults. Tickets are expected to sell out, so spectators wishing to guarantee a seat should purchase tickets in advance.
For meet-related and Grand Rapids visitor information, please visit NCAA DII Outdoor Track and Field Championships: www.GRChampionshipCity.com
About the West Michigan Sports Commission
The West Michigan Sports Commission, a non-profit 501 (c) (3), works to identify, secure and host a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events to positively impact the economy and quality of life in the region. Since its inception in 2007, the WMSC has booked nearly 300 sporting events and tournaments that attracted 315,000 athletes and visitors, generating more than $100 million in direct visitor spending. Visit www.westmisports.com for more information.
About NCAA DII
NCAA Division II is a collection of almost 300 colleges and universities that provide thousands of student-athletes the opportunity to compete at a high level of scholarship athletics while exceling in the classroom and fully engaging in the broader campus experience. This balance, in which student-athletes are recognized for their academic success, athletics contributions, and campus and community involvement, is at the heart of the Division II philosophy. Visit www.ncaa.org/d2 for more information.