A local university has a chance to win a national championship on home turf.
Grand Valley State University will host the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, beginning Thursday and running through Saturday.
With more than 750 athletes and their coaches from 100 schools, the estimated economic impact from the event is $1.4 million, according to the nonprofit West Michigan Sports Commission, which is co-hosting the event with GVSU.
The estimate is based on last year’s event, also held at GVSU, which generated the same amount, as guests filled 3,500 hotel room nights.
“Hosting this prestigious NCAA running event for the second year in a row speaks highly of Grand Rapids’ premier sporting venues, including GVSU’s state-of-the-art outdoor track and field facility,” said Mike Guswiler, president, West Michigan Sports Commission. “We encourage the West Michigan community to come out and witness these powerful running athletes right in our backyard.”
GVSU’s men’s team hopes to capture the championship after it finished second at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in March. The women came in fourth in March.
Athletes from other Michigan schools, such as Ferris State University and Hillsdale College, will compete.
Tickets for single day of the event are $12 for adults and $8 for people under 17, college students and seniors.
Three-day passes are $30 and $18.
This year’s track and field championship is one of seven NCAA bid wins anchored by the West Michigan Sports Commission.
Earlier this month, the Division II Women’s Golf National Championship was held at The Meadows Golf Course in Allendale. Last year, the Division II men’s golf tournament was hosted by GVSU.
In March, the Division III Women’s Basketball National Championship was held at Calvin College and will be again in 2017.
And in November 2015 and 2017, the Division III Women’s Volleyball National Championships will be at Calvin College.