Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Robert Black Photography)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The University of Arkansas has been selected to host four NCAA postseason championships it was announced on Wednesday. Arkansas will be home to a 2014 and 2016 NCAA Men's and Women's Cross Country Regional, the 2015 NCAA Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships and a 2017 NCAA Gymnastics Regional.
The University of Arkansas has earned a national reputation for hosting championship events. Since the Razorbacks entered the Southeastern Conference in 1992, Arkansas has hosted 81 SEC, regional and national competitions, including 26 in the last five years alone. In addition to the four championships announced on Wednesday, the University of Arkansas is already scheduled to host a 2014 NCAA Gymnastics Regional at Barnhill Arena, on April 5.
"We are pleased that the University of Arkansas has once again been recognized as one of the nation's premiere hosts for NCAA championship events," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "Hosting championship events at the University of Arkansas is a source of pride for our program and for our university. It also provides our student-athletes the opportunity to compete for conference, regional and national championships in front of the Razorback fans at some of the nation's top competition venues."
A recent study estimated the annual economic impact of Razorback Athletics to be more than $153.6 million annually. The same study estimated the total economic impact of the program to exceed more than $1 billion in the next five years.
"In addition to the more than 200 regular season athletic events we host on campus each year, NCAA events add to the tremendous economic impact Razorback Athletics is already having on our region," Long said. "Thousands of student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans come to Northwest Arkansas, to fill hotels and support local businesses. It is also an opportunity to showcase the University of Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas while providing participants and spectators a memorable and rewarding championship experience."
Arkansas will host the 2014 NCAA Men's and Women's Cross Country Regionals on Nov. 14, 2014 at the Razorbacks' home course at AGRI Park. The 2016 NCAA Regionals are set for Nov. 11, 2016 and will also be held at AGRI Park. The regionals will mark the third and fourth times, the University of Arkansas has hosted an NCAA Cross Country regional at AGRI Park with the previous events coming in 2007 and 2012.
The Randal Tyson Track Center will host the NCAA Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships for the 12th time in 2015. Since the facility's opening in 2000, Arkansas has hosted the event 11 times, including nine straight seasons and 11 of the last 13 championships. The Randal Tyson Center, home to the fastest indoor track in the world, will host the 2015 NCAA Men's and Women's Track and Field Championships, March 13-14, 2015.
Barnhill Arena, on the University of Arkansas campus, has quickly become a familiar stop on the way to the NCAA Gymnastics Championship. For the fifth time in its history, Arkansas will host a NCAA Gymnastics Regional on April 1, 2017. Barnhill Arena served as a home site for regionals in 2006, 2009 and 2012 and is already scheduled to host again in 2014 (April 5). The first three times the Razorbacks have hosted, they have advanced to the NCAA Championship. In two of those years, 2009 and 2011, Arkansas reached the NCAA Super Six.