Habemus Championship Weekend Hostams! (Sort of.)
At the end of October the NCAA announced that Chicago (Soldier Field), Foxboro (Gillette Stadium), and Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field) were finalist locations for Championship Weekend for the periods 2015 through 2018. Just over a month later, the NCAA has rendered final determinations on where the 2015 and 2016 iterations of the event will occur, but have remained silent on where college lacrosse's biggest event will end up in 2017 and 2018:
|YEAR||FACILITY||CITY, STATE||HOST INSITTUTION/SYNDICATE|
|2015||Lincoln Financial Field||Philadelphia, P.A.||Drexel/Philadelphia Sports Congress|
|2016||Lincoln Financial Field||Philadelphia, P.A.||Drexel/Philadelphia Sports Congress|
With the announcement, Philadelphia ups its host count to five in the NFL stadium era of the event (this ties Lincoln Financial Field with M&T Bank Stadium with the most hosting responsibilities in the NFL stadium era (M&T Bank Stadium did not submit a bid to host Championship Weekend during this bid cycle)). It's unclear why the NCAA did not announce host sites for the 2017 and 2018 periods despite indicating that it would when finalists were announced.
Philadelphia remains a great option for Championship Weekend. It's situated ideally between Baltimore and Northeast partisans and easy accessible to those from outside the Boston-Washington corridor. The city provides tons to do and caters to all kinds of interests. Putting the event in Philadelphia twice was a common sense decision, potentially providing hope for renewed vigor for Championship Weekend.
Also announced were quarterfinal locations for 2015 and 2016. In 2015, Denver and Navy will serve as hosts; in 2016, the quarterfinals will head to Ohio State and Brown. The biggest news coming from the quarterfinals site announcement is that Denver -- long a potential Championship Weekend possibility -- will have an opportunity to show its stuff as a prologue to a potential Final Four bid in the not-too-distant future.
Excited? Disappointed? Have other feelings (other than vengeance)? The comments are yours.