The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

December 12, 2013

D-II football championship to find home in Kansas City

The NCAA Division II football championship will make its new home in Kansas City.

NCAA officials announced Wednesday that the MIAA, in partnership with the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation, has been selected to host the NCAA Division II championships for football and men’s and women’s soccer. The football championship will be played at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The soccer championships will be at Swope Park Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.

“We are excited that the NCAA and the governing sports committees have recognized that Kansas City will provide a great experience for the student-athletes, coaches and fans who will travel here over the next few years,” Kansas City Sports Commission CEO Kathy Nelson said in a news release. “The MIAA has the expertise, commitment and passion to host these championships, and we look forward to working with their staff on these events.”

The Division II football championship is set to be played in Kansas City for the 2014-2017 seasons. The games will be played on Dec. 20, 2014; Dec. 19, 2015; Dec. 17, 2016; and Dec. 16, 2017.

The soccer championships will be at Swope Park for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. They will be played Dec. 1-3 in 2016 and Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in 2017.

For the past 26 seasons, the Division II football championship has been played at Braly Municipal Stadium in Florence, Ala. During those 26 seasons, only the MIAA and Gulf South Conference has had teams appear in more than 10 games with each having 12 participants. The MIAA has sent a team to seven of the past 10 national championship games. MIAA member Northwest Missouri State faces Grand Valley State in the semifinals on Saturday in Maryville. The winner will play for the Division II title in Florence.

Kansas City will serve as the 15th host in the history of the men’s and women’s soccer championships.

“We are thrilled that we can partner with the Kansas City Sports Commission to host these Division II national championship events in Kansas City,” MIAA commissioner Bob Boerigter said in a news release. “Our MIAA members are excited about the possibility of watching MIAA teams play for national championships in these outstanding venues, and we are confident student athletes that participate here will have a first class national championship experience.”

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