For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Frenz, Maryland Stadium Authority (410) 333-1560
Terry Hasseltine, Director of Sports Marketing (410) 767-3373
The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced February 6, 2009 that the Lacrosse National Championships, a three day event held over Memorial Day Weekend, will return to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore for 2010 and 2011.
“We are elated the NCAA Lacrosse National Championships will be returning to Maryland,” said Governor Martin O’Malley of the announcement. “Our state is recognized nationally as the cradle of lacrosse with its storied history, perennial powerhouse teams and loyal fan base. Attendance in Baltimore set records each of three years this event was held here previously. The proximity of M&T Bank Stadium to downtown and the Inner Harbor will provide an enjoyable experience for the tens of thousands who come here over Memorial Day weekend in 2010 and 2011.”
The Baltimore bid was submitted by the Baltimore Ravens, with a consortium of four local NCAA members -- Johns Hopkins, Towson, Loyola and UMBC – as host schools. The City of Baltimore, Maryland Stadium Authority and Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development also partnered with the Ravens for services and support necessary for staging the event. The newly created Office of Sports Marketing, and its director, Terry Hasseltine, played a major part in coordinating the successful effort.
“This is the first example of the synergy we’ve created with the Office of Sports Marketing,” commented John Morton, Chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority. “When MSA partnered with Department of Business and Economic Development on this initiative, it was to coordinate the resources and facilities necessary to attract major sports events and the revenue they generate to Maryland.”
“MSA’s and the Office of Sports Marketing’s efforts in the NCAA bid proves that when we support our partners, we win.” Morton added. ““Maryland is here to play.”
Director of Sports marketing Terry Hasseltine echoed his confidence in the success of the new initiative. “The State of Maryland is proud to have worked with our partners in Baltimore City and the Ravens organization to aggressively go after these premier sporting events and bring the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championships back to Maryland,” Hasseltine said. “Winning this bid has given our new statewide Sports Marketing Initiative a significant boost, and we look forward to once again working with event organizers and making the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Championships a success.”
Since hosting the first tournaments held in an NFL stadium in 2003-2004, Baltimore has been the site one additional time, in 2007. Other events were held in Philadelphia, 2005-2006, and most recently in Foxboro, where it will also occur in 2009.
Bidding for this popular series, which includes the championships for Division I, II, and III Men’s Lacrosse, has been spirited. In addition to Baltimore, the finalists included the Meadowlands in New Jersey and Foxboro Massachusetts.
Baltimore enjoys a number of advantages in attracting the NCAA tournament. Maryland is a lacrosse epicenter, where it is recognized as the state team sport. Baltimore houses the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and US Lacrosse, the sport’s governing body. Lacrosse is popular in collegiate, prep, and rec leagues throughout the state and enjoys an enthusiastic fan base. Maryland schools are also consistent contenders in all NCAA divisions.
The location of the stadium is also a favorable factor, with access to interstate highways a light rail system that connects the airport and Amtrak stations. Numerous hotels and restaurants are nearby and along the airport corridor.
The weekend event is very family and youth oriented. Because the stadium complex is within walking distance of the Inner Harbor and downtown Baltimore, museums and other attractions offer a multitude of activities for visitors between games.
Baltimore enjoys an extensive sports network which provides volunteers and ticket sales support through local lacrosse leagues, city boosters, and corporate sponsors. These are all crucial to making the event a success.
“Being awarded the bid to host the NCAA Lacrosse championships represents a source of civic pride and an opportunity to showcase our city, region, and state,” observed Donald Fry, chairman of the Camden Yards Sports and Entertainment Commission.
“It is critically important that the business and civic community demonstrate its commitment to attracting major sporting attractions through the purchase of tickets and sponsorships. The Camden Yards Sports & Entertainment Commission will work with our partners to achieve attendance and sponsorship levels that meet or exceed expectations and result in a first class NCAA championship weekend.”
Since the practice of holding the championship series in non-collegiate facilities began in 2003, Baltimore has set attendance records each time it hosted.