Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place has been selected to host the NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championships in November 2022, Travel Tacoma — Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports announced this week.
The event, landed after a successful bidding process, will bring more than 500 student-athletes to Pierce County, plus family and spectators. This will help boost the hospitality industry during the traditionally slower shoulder travel season, Travel Tacoma said.
The selection of Chambers Creek Regional Park to host the cross country championships was several years in the making, Travel Tacoma said in its news release. It involved course design, development, logistics, and review in partnership with the NCAA and Seattle Pacific University, as well as partnerships between public and private organizations. The Pierce County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, Pierce County Parks, and KemperSports, which operates Chambers Bay Golf Course adjacent to Chambers Creek Regional Park, all played instrumental roles in the bid that secured the event, the release said.
“We have worked hard over the last few years to lead on developing a sustainable and recurring cross country host plan for Chambers Creek Regional Park,” Dean Burke, president and CEO of Travel Tacoma, said in the release. “We could not be more excited to see this effort start to take shape and we welcome these athletes and schools for a great experience.”
The NCAA also announced that several other Puget Sound-area sites had been selected to host sporting events, including basketball, volleyball, swimming, diving, soccer, and field hockey, among others, during the 2022-23 and 2025-26 academic years. The effort to secure the events was the result of a partnership that included the Seattle Sports Commission; Cities of Seattle, Tukwila, and Federal Way; Oak View Group; Seattle Pacific University; Seattle University; University of Washington; and Washington State University.
In total, the events will bring more than 6,000 designated hotel-room nights, as well as additional hotel stays and broad economic impact through visitors and fans, the Seattle Sports Commission said in a news release.
The cross country event is part of the 2022 NCAA Division II Fall National Championships Festival — a multisport, multivenue festival held every four years. It will be the first time the festival has been held on the West Coast, the Seattle Sports Commission said.
Seattle Pacific University is the host institution for the 2022 NCAA Division II Fall National Championships Festival that will determine six national team title winners, it announced in a post on its website. The festival will determine the NCAA Division II champions in men’s and women’s cross country, women’s field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. Those events will occur during the final week of November and the first week of December in 2022 and attract more than 900 athletes, SPU said.
The soccer championships will be played at Interbay Stadium in Seattle, home of SPU soccer; volleyball will be at Brougham Pavilion on the SPU campus; and women’s field hockey will be at the Starfire Sports complex in Tukwila, SPU said.
“We are beyond excited to host the D-II Festival here in Seattle,” SPU Athletic Director Jackson Stava said in the post.
Other NCAA events coming to the region, according to the Seattle Sports Commission:
— The 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Regional, in partnership with the Oak View Group and Seattle University, hosted at Climate Pledge Arena and the Seattle Center Campus.
— The 2025 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball 1st and 2nd Rounds, in partnership with Climate Pledge Arena and the University of Washington, hosted at Climate Pledge Arena the Seattle Center Campus.
— The 2025 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships, in partnership with Washington State University and the City of Federal Way, hosted at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.
“We are all looking forward to having our student-athletes back in competition mode,” Beth Knox, president of the Seattle Sports Commission, said in its release. “Hosting NCAA sporting events is part of SSC’s vision to make the greater Seattle region a world-class sports market. We have the capacity, state-of-the-art venues, spectacular attractions, and a passion for sports that make us an ideal destination for significant and high-profile events.”