The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced its first round of hosts for next year’s inaugural basketball opening round tournaments. The Kansas Collegiate Athletics Conference (KCAC) will partner with both Park City, Kan., and Visit Wichita to host both men’s and women’s events while the Omaha Sports Commission also won its bid to host both a men’s and women’s event. Each site will host both genders from 2021 thru 2024.
In Park City, Kan., the NAIA Basketball National Championship Opening Round site for both men and women will be at Hartman Arena. For both the men’s and women’s tournaments, a KCAC school is guaranteed a spot at that location.
Similar to Park City is the winning bid from Visit Wichita, which will also partner with the KCAC to host at the Garvey Center, on the campus of Friends University. As with the former, both men’s and women’s events will include one team from the KCAC.
"The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference is thrilled to partner with the Park City Convention and Tourism Commission, Visit Wichita, and the NAIA to host these first-ever NAIA Opening Round Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments in March 2021,” said Scott Crawford, KCAC Commissioner. “We look forward to providing a best-in-class event experience for the teams and student-athletes who will come to Park City and Wichita to compete in Hartman Arena and the Garvey Center on the campus of Friends University for the opportunity to advance to the finals sites of the NAIA Men's and Women's Basketball Championships."
In Omaha, the Omaha Sports Commission will host both genders at Sokol Arena, which is the home of Creighton Blue Jays’ Women’s Basketball.
"The Omaha Sports Commission is very proud to have been selected as a first/second round host site for the NAIA men's and women's championships, starting in 2021," said Josh Todd, executive director of the Omaha Sports Commission. "The NAIA will bring high quality basketball action to Creighton University's Sokol Arena and offers another great sports opportunity for local fans. It will be exciting to see both men's and women's teams competing in Omaha in their quest for a national championship."
The inaugural season of the new format basketball format in the NAIA will begin in 2021 and will feature 16 opening round sites for both men and women, which consist of four teams at each site. Each opening round event will feature two games, both single elimination. The winner of each will advance to the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship Final Site in Kansas City, Mo., or the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship Final Site in Sioux City, Iowa.
For more information on becoming a host for an NAIA Championship, click HERE