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Up for Bid: NAIA Men's and Women's Cross Country National Championships

28 Mar, 2021

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

It’s time to get your BID on, this time for the NAIA’s 2022 and 2024 Men's and Women's Cross Country National Championships. The bid deadline is June 1 but don’t wait – this is a good one.

How good? Try a three-day event that, in 2018, brought in over 2,600 coaches, school representatives, and student-athletes from 120 NAIA schools across the country.  In addition, an estimated 1,500 more were in attendance at the races and awards ceremonies. 

Oh, and did someone say room nights? The 2018 event, held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, used a total of 1,191 room nights, all of which were booked throughout the entirety of the championships.

So what do cities need to put themselves in the running to host this event? The necessary documents are below, followed by the event details.

STYLE MANUAL for NAIA Hosting

BID PACKET

NAIA Men's and Women's Cross Country National Championships at a Glance:

Seeking Site For: 2022 & 2024

Bid Deadline: June 1, 2021

Rights Fee: $5,000.00 (Minimum)

Time of Year: November 18, 2022; November 22, 2024

Days of the Week: Friday (course should be available Thursday for the participants)

Number of Teams: 36 men's teams/36 women's teams (7 runners per team), plus 2-6 individual qualifiers for men and women in each conference.

Estimated Number of Participants & Fans: Approximately 320 runners per gender; 1,500 fans

Venue/Course Requirements: A well-kept cross country course that has a 5K women's course and an 8K men's course with 4-6 finish line chutes and automatic timing equipment.  Must be able to accommodate championship awards ceremony (approx. 1000) at or near the course.

Hotel Requirements: One headquarters hotel within 15 minutes of the course.  Meeting room space for at least 150.  Overflow/alternate housing (2-4 hotels) for participants and fans is also requested.

Average Length of Stay: 2-3 nights

Room Block Needed: 500-550

Room Rate: The recommended price range is $90-$115, regardless of room occupancy.

Hotel Pre-Registration: Participants will be responsible for making reservations and paying for rooms directly with the hotel on the approved housing list from the Host.

Ancillary events held in conjunction with the championships brought further attention and impact. NAIA noted its Teaming Up for Character™ community event program consisted of a 1K Fun Run for kids in the community. Mount Mercy, the last collegiate host, held this run based on a partnership with the Cedar Rapids Public School system, where they were able to bring in 350 local elementary school kids to participate. NAIA athletes partnered with teams of elementary students to share the NAIA five core values (integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership).

In addition, NAIA championships stand to have residual benefits. The organization noted, “While Seminole Valley was designed in a first-class course layout for the championships, they revealed that they also intend to use the course to host upcoming regional, state, and national events. This would bring not only a consistent use of the investment of the course, but continued public and media exposure as they look towards their hosting of the 2020 NAIA Cross Country National Championships again.”

Event History:

2018 & 2020: Seminole Valley Cross Country Course, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mount Mercy University 

2017 & 2019: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver, Wash. Cascade Collegiate Conference

2016: North Farm Cross Country Course, Elsah, Ill., American Midwest Conference

2015: McAlpine Creek Park, Charlotte, N.C.

2013-14: Rim Rock Farm, Lawrence, Kan. Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference & Lawrence Sports Corporation

2009-12: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver, Wash. Cascade Collegiate Conference & Concordia University-Portland 
2007-08: Dr. Wayne E. Dannehl Cross Country Course, Kenosha, Wis. Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
2003-06: E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park, Louisville, Ky. Greater Louisville Sports Commission 
25 years: Dr. Wayne E. Dannehl Cross Country Course, Parkside, Wis. University of Wisconsin, Parkside 

Need more information? Contact Courtney Fegter, NAIA’s Championship Sport Manager, at 816-595-8156 or cfegter@naia.org.

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