Ohio Wesleyan University once again will be the site for the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division III Track and Field National Championships, it was announced at the Delaware City Council meeting on March 24.
The event will be held at Selby Stadium and the south fields behind Luttinger Tennis Center on May 22-May 24. It is expected to draw more than 15,000 spectators, who will spend more than $2 million in Delaware.
“This event is indicative of the relationship Ohio Wesleyan has with the City of Delaware,” said Mark Shipps, a former OWU vice president who was representing the university.
The university also hosted the event in 2011, and received so much positive feedback from all involved that the NCAA has brought the event back to Delaware.
“Participants and spectators enjoyed the proximity of OWU to downtown Delaware’s restaurants and shops,” Shipp said.
Athletic Director Roger Ingles said 1,200 student-athletes and coaches involved in the event would begin arriving on May 19, and a banquet would be held May 21 at the Rickey Center. In addition, “there will be six or seven of our own athletes competing,” Ingles said.
He noted the championships would take place after the OWU Commencement and the Arts Festival in what will be a busy month of May in Delaware.
“Without the City of Delaware, we wouldn’t have this back,” Ingles said.
Track and field is unlike other sports contests, he said, in that fans might catch an event in the morning, leave for a couple hours, and come back to see an event in the afternoon.
“That’s important in driving folks downtown,” Ingles said.
Ohio Wesleyan has been committed to drawing other kinds of athletic events to the university, Ingles said, such as high school football playoff games, the Ohio Machine’s lacrosse home games and the Harlem Globetrotters.
Ingles said 400 volunteers are needed to assist with the event. To fill out a form, visit www.battlingbishops.com and click on the NCAA Championships link.