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NCAA Names Chicago, Foxboro, and Philadelphia as Host Finalists for Championship Weekend

Look at that: The Midwest checks in.

Jonathan Daniel

The NCAA has assumedly flipped through brochures and PowerPoint presentations and come to the determination that three locations are best suited to host college lacrosse's 2015-2018 Championship Weekends. The finalists are somewhat surprising:

Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, P.A. Drexel/Philadelphia Sports Congress
Gillette Stadium Foxboro, M.A. Harvard
Soldier Field Chicago, I.L. Notre Dame/Chicago Sports Commission

Lincoln Financial Field and Gillette Stadium are repeat host sites for Championship Weekend. Lincoln Financial Field held the event in 2005, 2006, and 2013, totaling 311,040 at the gate; Gillette Stadium held the event in 2008, 2009, and 2012, totaling 303,707 at the gate. Winning sites will be announced on December 11, 2013.

Some brief thoughts:

  • Much was made about Baltimore potentially becoming a permanent -- or semi-permanent -- home for Championship Weekend. That won't happen (at least during this cycle). This is probably a good thing for the game, and there are lots of reasons to avoid making Baltimore the primary host of the Final Four.
  • I guess professional football stadiums remain the preferred home for the event. I'd be interested in seeing which college venues -- if any -- actually bid for the event.
  • You have to think that Indianapolis' effort in the 2013 quarterfinals helped the committee pick Chicago out of the bunch. Soldier Field is still an outpost for much of the lacrosse-focused universe, but there's enough heat in the Midwest where I think Chicago can pull this off fairly well. Also, this:

  • Foxboro haters: The line forms to the left. (And, honestly, the gripes about Gillette hosting this thing are somewhat off-base. The likelihood that Foxboro hosts more than one iteration of Championship Weekend during this cycle is low, especially without a true southern location in the bid cycle.)
  • Philadelphia is a no-brainer. Of the locations on the east coast, it's arguably the best. Roast pork and beef for everyone!

Anything to add? The comments are yours to unleash.