The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance as announced new sports events. For a full calendar of events, see raleighsports.org.
GREAT AMERICAN XC SET TO RETURN: Thanks to the efforts of GRSA and Town of Cary, the Great American Cross Country Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious cross country events in the nation, has been secured for the next three years. The event will be held during the first weekend in Oct., 2015-2017, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, which has been the venue for the previous six years. Town of Cary and GRSA recently finalized the three-year extension with National Scholastic Athletics Foundation, which owns and manages the event. More than 2,500 high school and college runners from across the U.S. are expected to compete.
USA ULTIMATE BACK TO RALEIGH: USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of Ultimate (flying disc), has selected Raleigh as the host city for the 2016 USA Ultimate Division I College Championships, set for Memorial Day weekend. The national collegiate championships will take place May 27-30 at the WRAL Soccer Center and will showcase the top 20 men's college teams and top 20 women's college teams from around the country. The event is estimated to generate more than 1,000 hotel room-nights and $385,000 in direct visitor spending. The Triangle Flying Disc Association (TFDA) and GRSA will serve as the official host partners for the event. Raleigh previously hosted the 2013 U.S. Open Ultimate Championships at WRAL Soccer Center.
UPGRADES FOR CASL'S WRAL SOCCER CENTER: CASL's (Capital Area Soccer League's) WRAL Soccer Center, a 21-field complex in North Raleigh featuring five synthetic turf fields with lighting, recently began an extensive renovation project thanks to a $3.8 million loan from Capitol Broadcasting Company. The project includes paved parking, more restrooms and shelters, an updated stadium field, automated irrigation, new fencing and nets, landscaping and walkways. Renovations are scheduled for completion this fall. Over the past 10 years, the venue has grown into a destination sports complex for state, regional and national events, including the annual CASL visitRaleigh.com National Soccer Series, which brings in more than 1,000 soccer teams each year. Past events hosted at WRAL Soccer Center include the US Youth Soccer Southern Regionals, US Lacrosse Southeast Championships, U.S. Open Ultimate Championships and Powerade State Games of N.C.
GRSA NAMED SPORTS TOURISM ORGANIZATION OF YEAR: The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance was named Sports Tourism Organization of the Year by the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC). The award was announced at NASC's national convention in Milwaukee, Wisc. This is a prestigious honor for GRSA and reflects the success of many sporting events hosted in Greater Raleigh thanks to the efforts of so many superb event organizers and our wonderful host partners. GRSA advisory board, staff and partners work tirelessly to help make Greater Raleigh a world-class sports event destination. The GRSA staff includes executive director Scott Dupree, associate director Tori Collins, assistant director Jason Philbeck, assistant director for services Theresa Tyler and sports coordinator Michael Robson.
ODDS AND ENDS: Raleigh's 2016 NCAA Basketball Local Organizing Committee held its first planning meeting on May 21 at PNC Arena. The committee will meet periodically between now and next year's First and Second Rounds in Raleigh, set for Mar. 17-19 and hosted by North Carolina State University ... the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 Raleigh was another huge success, selling out for the third year in a row. The event had 3,200 athletes from 39 states and 23 countries register, and 80 percent of competitors traveled in from out of town.
For a full calendar of events, see raleighsports.org.