Sunday, March 9 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-03-10 00:35:58 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three local universities and the city of Louisville will play host to more than a dozen NCAA Championships in the next four years.
The NCAA has announced that 13 of its national championships, in six different sports, will be hosted locally.
The schools playing host include the University of Louisville, Bellarmine University, and Spalding University -- representing all three divisions.
"It means dollars in economic impact. There's the quality of life when you bring a lot of athletes and fans that come to our town, and it's the brand- it's branding," says Karl Schmitt, Executive Director of the Louisville Sports Commission.
Schmitt says this is a win-win for both the city and the universities.
Next year in 2014, Bellarmine will host the Division II Fall Championships Festival, made up of men's and women's cross country, soccer, women's volleyball, and field hockey.
In 2016, Spalding will host the Division III men's and women's cross country.
In 2017, U of L will host Division 1 men's and women's cross country. All three schools will host field hockey championships.
"So it's a great opportunity for talent attraction, to bring these student athletes, their family and friends to our community, to get a taste of what it's like to be here," says Schmitt.
Spalding's Athletic Director, Roger Burkman, says this is the first time his school has been awarded a championship to host.
"My cross-country coaches were running around the building, screaming and hollering and pumping their fists in the air because they were so excited about it," says Roger Burkman.
Burkman says he's hoping this means good things to come for the university and the city of Louisville.
He says they plan to meet with Louisville Sports Commission to help plan some type of marketing campaign in the near future.
"We've got a couple years to plan, but still, you want to get started early on something like that," says Burkman.
According to the Louisville Sports Commission, 'For the first time in its history, the NCAA issued RFPs for championships en masse to place all of its post-season events in locations across the country between the fall of 2014 and the spring of 2018. The site selection process began in June 2013 when the NCAA issued RFPs for nearly 500 post-season events; prospective host sites were required to respond to the RFPs in early September and the NCAA issued a list of finalists in early November. The Louisville-based coalition of UofL, Bellarmine, Spalding, the Kentucky State Fair Board, AEG/KFC Yum! Center, LCVB and the Louisville Sports Commission put in bids for 41 championship events'.