Irvine Extends its Run as Host City for NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Through 2021

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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Irvine was the host city the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Men’s Soccer National Championship in 2018 and will again host the tournament this year in November. The NAIA announced on Oct. 4 that the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) has reached an agreement to extend its contract as the host of the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship through the 2020 and 2021 seasons in Irvine. 

“We are happy to continue to have Irvine as the home of the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship. With the support of the Anaheim Ducks and Destination Irvine, the GSAC is able to provide a tremendous championship experience for the visiting teams and a fun event for the community to attend.  The Orange County Great Park Championship Soccer Stadium is the best venue these student athletes will play in all year long,” said Mike Daniels, commissioner, GSAC.

The GSAC received support from the Anaheim Ducks to keep the championship at the OC Great Park Championship Soccer Stadium. The OC Great Park is also home to Great Park Ice and the Anaheim Ducks training facility. The Ducks will be the presenting sponsor of the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship in 2019 and 2020.

NAIA president and CEO Jim Carr said the City of Irvine and the Golden State Athletic Conference were exceptional hosts for the NAIA 2018 championships and that extending the agreement continues to provide student-athletes with a high-level championship experience.

“Destination Irvine’s goal is be known as the home to NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship, like Omaha, Nebraska is home to the NCAA World College World Series,” said Wendy Haase, vice president, Destination Irvine. “With the support of the City of Irvine along with the initial partnership of the Anaheim Ducks, Irvine residents and businesses alike will benefit from the economic impact value in hosting this collegiate sporting event, year after year.”

Destination Irvine reports that the championships, to be held Nov. 30 – Dec. 5, 2020, and Nov. 29 – Dec. 4, 2021, are expected to bring in more than $700,000 in overnight hotel revenue and local spending combined, and fill a total of 3,200 room nights.

“As an organization, we are committed to being great partners in our local community, and supporting initiatives that strengthen ties to our local region,” said Aaron Teats, vice president and chief marketing officer of the Ducks. “In partnership with the City of Irvine, we recently opened our new world-class ice and sports facility, and in turn feel privileged to support these elite-level NAIA student athletes in their quest of a soccer national championship.”

The NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship wrapped-up its first year at OC Great Park where Central Methodist (Mo.) was crowned the champion in 2018. With the extension, both the 63rd and 64th annual championships are guaranteed to be played in Irvine at the 2,500 seat venue. The annual event features a 16-team, single-elimination tournament in a six-day event, culminating in the national title game on ESPN3.

For information on sports venue and tournament opportunities in Irvine, contact Dave Lucey.

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Category: Destination Irvine, Economic News, Community News