The NCAA is expected this week to vote on a motion to replace the University of Iowa as hosts of the 2020 NCAA Men’s Division I Swimming & Diving Championships. Greensboro, North Carolina has emerged as the favorite, sources tell SwimSwam. Greensboro is already scheduled to host the 2021 Women’s NCAA Championship meet.
The NCAA is also expected to finalize a move of the Zone A Diving Championships from Liberty University to Virginia Tech after problems with Liberty’s new diving apparatus caused one of their diving platforms to fall into the pool.
In early September, the CSCAA reported that the NCAA was looking for a new host for the men’s NCAA Championship meet after Iowa announced that it was cutting its men’s and women’s swimming & diving programs.
While there have been few updates yet as to when the 2020-2021 NCAA season will happen or what it will look like amid the coronavirus pandemic, that was enough to drive the NCAA to replace Iowa as the host.
With the move to Greensboro, the event will get a larger spectator capacity – if spectators are allowed at the meet. While Iowa can seat 1,200 spectators (with an expansion option behind glass), Greensboro has permanent spectator seating for 1,850 off-deck. That’s one of the largest spectator capacities in the US.
If spectators were allowed, that would help address the huge ticket demands that saw the 2019 men’s NCAA Championship meet sell out before public sales opened.
Since opening on August 26, 2011, the Greensboro Aquatic Center has become a centerpiece of the American swimming rotation. Among many other major meets, it previously hosted the 2015 Women’s NCAA Division I Championship meet.
By hosting both the men’s and women’s meets at the same location, there is also the potential for some cost-savings for the NCAA. Packaging hotel rooms for the two events could allow for better rates, and keeping equipment in one location could reduce on transportation costs.
The NCAA has previously hosted the Division I Championships in the same location on several occasions, including 2019 in Austin, 2017 in Indianapolis, 2016 in Atlanta, 2013 in Indianapolis, and 2019 in College Station, Texas.
Zone A Diving
In other NCAA Championship news, Virginia Tech, rather than Liberty, is expected to get the nod to host the Zone A Diving Championships instead of Liberty University.
Over the summer, Liberty had one of their diving platforms fall into the pool. Nobody was injured, but upon inspection, they discovered that an error in construction at the new natatorium resulted in the platform failing. The school has removed all of their diving platforms and plans to rebuild them after this season.
Zone Diving is a series of 5 events that determine the NCAA Championship qualifiers. Because of the variability of scoring in diving across judges and locations, participants must hit a certain score to be eligible for Zone Diving qualification. Then they are selected to the NCAA Championships based on finish position at those Zone meets.
The NCAA has not released the host locations for the 2021 Zone Diving Championships to the public yet.