posted on March 31, 2010 15:40
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Wednesday the 2010 and 2011 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championships will be hosted by the Alabama Gulf Coast Sports Commission, in conjunction with the University of Mobile (Ala.). The events will be played at Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala. The 2010 Championship will occur Nov. 29-Dec. 4 and the 2011 event will be contested Nov. 28-Dec. 3.
"The NAIA is excited to partner with the Alabama Gulf Coast Sports Commission to celebrate over 50 years of men's soccer,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “This partnership is built on a commitment to create a terrific championship experience for the participants, coaches and fans. The Orange Beach community has embraced NAIA championships in the past and this event promises to be a fan favorite in an area that supports soccer."
Opening in 2001, the Sportsplex holds 1,500 fans with renovated locker rooms and two soccer playing fields. The Alabama Gulf Coast Sports Commission has engineered numerous sporting events and sells Alabama’s Gulf Coast as one of the premier destinations. For more information on the Alabama Gulf Coast Sports Commission, click here
“The Orange Beach Sportsplex is an outstanding facility for hosting our next two NAIA Men's Soccer National Championships,” said Scott McClure, NAIA Manager of Championship Sports. “The communities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores will have a tremendous opportunity to witness high-caliber collegiate soccer in 2010 and 2011. Overall, the student-athletes will have the wonderful experience of competing in a great setting."
In addition to the NAIA Championship, the Sportsplex will be the host site for the 2010 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Women’s Soccer Championship and various levels of the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) World Series. In the past, the facility has played host to the NAIA Region XXIII Women's Softball Championship and the 2007 NCAA Men's and Women's Soccer Championships. For more information on the Sportsplex, click here
“Alabama’s beautiful white-sandy beaches will be a perfect backdrop for these high-caliber championships,” said Beth Gendler, Director of Sales for the Alabama Gulf Coast Sports Commission. “Our island showcases state-of-the-art sports facilities, and we are eagerly looking forward to welcoming both of the 2010 and 2011 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championships to enjoy area accommodations, attractions and restaurants.”
The NAIA conducted its first Men’s Soccer National Championship in 1959 with a four-team invitational tournament held at Slippery Rock State College (Pa.). The 52nd annual event in November will mark the fourth different host city in the state of Alabama. In 1977-78, Huntsville, Ala., was the site and saw Quincy (Ill.) dominate the pitch both years. From 1994-98, Mobile (1994-95) and Birmingham (1996-98) hosted the Championship in a five-year span.
The 15 National Championship Opening Round winners will join the host school, Mobile, for the 16-team, single-elimination Championship. There are 218 men’s soccer varsity programs that compete in the NAIA. This past season, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) won its eighth national title in school history.
To learn more about NAIA men’s soccer, click here