The NCAA has awarded NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships to host venue IMG Academy for the 2016-17 seasons.
IMG Performance will host the championships in conjunction with the University of Tampa on the campus of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The events will take place will take place May 26-28, 2016 and May 25-27, 2017.
“When you look at the list of cities and venues that will host our championships, there is no doubt the experiences across divisions and sports will likely be the best in NCAA history,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances. “The process was extremely thorough and allowed the sport committees to have some tremendous options, which will ultimately provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans the best experience possible.”
“We look forward to hosting our first NCAA Championship event at IMG Academy, where we recently launched a track and field program housed in our new stadium. We feel a key element in our selection is the focus we place on creating a great student-athlete experience,” remarked Gary Pluchino, Vice President, IMG Performance. “We are also looking forward to hosting a national event that will attract athletes, coaches and fans from all over the country to the Bradenton area where they will be greeted by a welcoming community, great weather, and countless attractions.”
IMG Academy’s campus features the new state-of-the-art IMG Academy Stadium, which seats 5,000 with the ability to scale to 10,000, and boasts a broadcast-ready press and hospitality box with coach, press, and radio rooms, as well as VIP suites. The stadium features an 8-lane, 400m track and adjacent training areas for jumps and throws.
IMG Performance, a division of sports and entertainment company IMG, is headquartered at IMG Academy and annually hosts, manages and/or operates more than 100+ events at IMG Academy and across the country.
The new NCAA championship bid process creates the largest host site announcement ever, spanning 82 championships across a four-year cycle. Previously, selection announcements varied by sport. This process now gives the NCAA and host sites more time to plan each championship experience.
Bidding for 82 of 89 NCAA championships began in July and 1,984 bid applications were ultimately submitted. Each sport committee, per division, selected the host sites it believed would provide the ultimate experience for the respective student-athletes, resulting in 523 total championship event sites awarded. The seven championships not included in the process due to preexisting site arrangements are: Division I baseball, Division I men’s basketball, Division I football, Division I men’s and women’s golf, Division I softball and Division III women’s ice hockey.
For more information on all of the NCAA championship sites awarded, log on to www.ncaa.com/site-selections. For more information about IMG Academy, visit imgacademy.com. IMG Academy recently launched a Track & Field and Cross Country program housed in its new stadium.