D-I Women's Final Fours to Raleigh, Stony Brook in 2017, 2018
The NCAA Division I women's lacrosse committee announced Tuesday that WakeMed Stadium in Cary, North Carolina, and Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium in Stony Brook, New York, will host the Division I women's national semifinal and championship games in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
"The committee is very excited about the future of the championship with both of these sites," said John Sung, chair of the NCAA Division I women's lacrosse committee and head coach at Winthrop University. "Cary has proven to be an outstanding home for NCAA championship events and we think it will be a great setting and shows the continued growth of women's lacrosse to have the Division I championship in North Carolina for the first time in 2017.
"Stony Brook was an outstanding site with enthusiastic crowds for the 2011 and 2012 championships and we look forward to returning to New York, which has always shown strong support for women's lacrosse."
While women's lacrosse will make its debut in Cary, the area is no stranger to NCAA championship competition. The Women's College Cup has been hosted their seven times, while the Men's College Cup has made four appearances at WakeMed Stadium. Campbell University, the Town of Cary and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance will serve as co-hosts in 2017.
"Campbell is proud to have been part of another winning bid to host NCAA national championships," said Campbell athletics director Bob Roller. "Our experience hosting the NCAA College Cup for women's and men's soccer over the past four years has led to a great partnership with the NCAA, the Town of Cary, and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance."
"Cary's selection is a testament to the town's dedication to making Cary one of America's premier host communities for collegiate athletics," said Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. "It also makes a statement about our venues and facilities, which the NCAA continues to recognize as some of the finest in the nation. We're honored to host this championship, and look forward to greeting participants and fans alike with true Cary hospitality."
"Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S., especially here in the Southeast, so we think it's a great move by the NCAA to showcase the 2017 women's championship in a new market like Cary," said Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance Executive Director Scott Dupree. "The Town of Cary and Campbell University have a tremendous track record of hosting NCAA championship events, and our local host partners will go above and beyond to provide an incredible student-athlete experience. We can't wait to welcome the teams to our community next May, and they can look forward to a first-class experience at WakeMed Stadium, which is widely considered to be the best natural grass playing surface in the nation."
The NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship will return to Stony Brook University for the third time in 2018 after Northwestern won back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012 in front of two of the six largest crowds in the championship game's history.
"Women's lacrosse has a strong presence on Long Island and it gives us tremendous pleasure to be selected to host the 2018 NCAA Division I Championship at Stony Brook University," said Stony Brook athletics director Shawn Heilbron. "We look forward to once again partnering with the NCAA to showcase the very best in women's lacrosse and welcome fans from across the country to our great university and the beautiful North Shore of Long Island."
The 2016 championships return to Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia (formerly PPL Park) for the second year in a row. Tickets for the 2016 NCAA Divisions I Women's Lacrosse Championship are on sale at NCAA.com.
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