CEDAR RAPIDS – Cedar Rapids has officially submitted a bid to host the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship in 2015, 2016 and 2017 at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Iowa Conference Commissioner Chuck Yrigoyen said Tuesday afternoon.
Yrigoyen said the bid is on behalf of the IIAC and Coe College, which would be hosts. The tournament annually is held in late May and has been in Appleton, Wis., since 2000.
“It’s very hard to say if we’ll get it,” Yrigoyen said. “I have spoken to someone on the (selection) committee who said 15 to 20 cities have announced their intentions to bid.”
That includes Appleton again. Cedar Rapids also bid for the D-III tourney in the early 2000s when the newer Veterans Memorial Stadium first opened.
Yrigoyen believes C.R. has a better chance this time around because the NCAA has seen first hand how the city deals with national tournaments. Division III wrestling held its national meet at the U.S. Cellular Center from 2008 to 2010 and returns this season and next after being at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena last year.
The NCAA Division II national volleyball tournament also is at the Cellular Center this fall.
“That fact that the NCAA is familiar with the cast of characters here – me, (Assistant to the Commissioner) Josh Schroeder, (Coe AD) John Chandler – all plays in our favor,” Yrigoyen said. “As does the fact we have a good facility here that has hosted the Iowa Conference Tournament for years. The Cedar Rapids Kernels and (General Manager) Doug Nelson are fully behind this.”
Yrigoyen said the NCAA should announce the tournament host for the next three-year cycle sometime in December.
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