More than 750 of America’s top collegiate runners will return to Grand Rapids in a few weeks, when Grand Valley State University (GVSU) hosts the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) DII Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships, May 21-23 for a second straight year.
“Hosting this prestigious NCAA running event for the second year in a row speaks highly of Grand Rapids’ premier sporting venues, including GVSU’s state-of-the-art outdoor track and field facility,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission who is co-hosting the event with GVSU. “We encourage the West Michigan community to come out and witness these powerful running athletes right in our backyard.”
The NCAA DII Outdoor Track and Field Championships attracts the top runners from more than 100 universities in the country, drawing approximately 750 athletes and 300 coaches to the three-day meet at GVSU’s outdoor track at 10515 Laker Village Dr. in Allendale. The event is expected to mirror last year’s economic impact, pumping $1.4 million into the local economy and filling 3,500 hotel room nights, for a cumulative, two-year estimated economic impact of $2.8 million and more than 7,000 hotel nights booked.
From a local athlete perspective, the championship includes many Michigan schools in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) such as Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Hillsdale College and others. For GVSU’s men’s team, this may be a chance to clinch a championship win that evaded them by five points at the NCAA DII Indoor Track and Field Championships in March, where they came in second place to Adams State University in Colorado. The women’s team led the first day but came in fourth at the Indoor Track and Field Championships.
“Volunteer to be a part of the action or cheer on our local Michigan athletes as they compete nationally against other best-in-class track athletes – especially our GVSU teams who have another chance at making championships history,” said Keri Becker, associate athletic director for Grand Valley State University and meet director. “The evenings of each day are electric and energized as the crowd roars with each race. You won’t be disappointed with the high competition displayed by these track and field student-athletes from across the country.”
The NCAA DII Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships is one of a handful of multi-sport, multi-year NCAA bid wins anchored by the West Michigan Sports Commission in 2014 as part of the NCAA’s competitive bid process. In addition to hosting the 2014 and 2015 NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the Grand Rapids area also is hosting or has hosted:
NCAA DIII Women’s Basketball National Championships – March 2015 and 2017
NCAA DII Women's Golf National Championship – May 2015
NCAA DII Men’s Golf National Championship – May 2014
NCAA DIII Women’s Volleyball National Championships – November 2015 and 2017
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 three-day pass also is available for $18 for children, students and seniors; and $30 for adults. Spectators wishing to guarantee a seat should purchase tickets in advance.
For Championships, volunteer and general 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 400 sporting events and tournaments that attracted 560,000 athletes and visitors, generating $145 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.