Chicago's Soldier Field, Philly, Foxboro Named Final Four Site Finalists
Matt Kinnear - 10/30/2013
Notre Dame, Drexel and Harvard would serve as hosts, respectively, in a finalist list that has a noticeable absence of Maryland locations. The 2014 men's lacrosse championship weekend will be held at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. (North Carolina), Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. (Northwestern) and PPL Park near Philadelphia (Saint Joseph's) were named finalists for the women's DI championship. The women's DIII finalists are the same as the DI finalists, so they presumably would be held at the same site — a departure from prior years.
The finalists were selected by the respective sport committees, which are made up of coaches and administrators from NCAA member schools and conferences, from an original pool of 1,948 bids. The committees will select the winning sites, which must then be approved by the appropriate divisional championships cabinets/committees before being announced via webcast at NCAA.com on Dec. 11.
The December announcement will also include all pre-determined regional host sites, such as quarterfinal sites. Ohio State's Jesse Owens Stadium and Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium are among sites that have made bids for the NCAA quarters. The 2014 NCAA Quarterfinals will be held at Delaware and Hofstra.
Cities were able to bid for one or more years of the same championship.
The falling Final Four attendance has been a topic of conversation in recent years. Last year's Championship Weekend attendance in Philadelphia was the sixth straight decline, with 79,179 fans coming to the Linc (28,224 Saturday, 22,511 Sunday and 28,444 Monday), the lowest total since 2002, the last time the event wasn’t held in an NFL venue.
The IMLCA formed a committee to evaluate the downturn, producing a "white paper" on recommendations to increase attendance. The IMLCA committee had five recommendations, ranging from ticket prices, marketing, hosts' financial burdens and more.
Indianapolis last year hosted the NCAA Quarterfinals at Lucas Oil Stadium, drawing 7,749 fans.