The NCAA has announced the hosts for the 2011 NCAA Championships. They awarded the men’s site to the University of Minnesota’s University Aquatics Center in Minneapolis. The women’s meet will take place at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swim Center in Austin, Texas.
Neither facility is unfamiliar with hosting large meets.
The University of Minnesota Facility, which is celebrating it’s 20-year anniversary this season, has hosted 9 NCAA championships, 3 U.S. National Championships, 3 U.S. Open Championships, 10 Big Ten Championships, and a U.S. Diving Championship. One of the unique features about the University Aquatics Center is that it provides spectator seating along both ends of the pool, creating a stadium-like atmosphere. In 2007, the pool became the first to host both the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Championships in consecutive weeks.
The University of Texas has hosted 11 NCAA Championships, most recently the men’s meet in 2003, the 1980 U.S. Diving Championships, the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials, and the 2001 U.S. World Championships Trials. The Jamail Swim Center is a massive facility that has permanent seating for 2,600: nearly twice as much as the Minnesota facility. Texas women’s head coach Kim Brackin was especially excited about the announcement, because she was an Assistant at Auburn the last time UT hosted the women’s Championship in 2002. That year, Coach Brackin ended the meet soaking wet as Auburn was crowned National Champions.
With this announcement, from 2007 through at least 2011, no University outside of the Big Ten and Big 12 will play host to the NCAA Championships, although the 2008 Men’s Championship was hosted by the non-NCAA Weyerhaueser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington.
2007 Hosts: University of Minnesota-Men’s & Women’s
2008 Hosts: Weyerhaueser King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way, Washington-Men’s & the Ohio State University-Women’s
2009 Hosts: Texas A&M University-Men’s & Women’s
2010 Hosts: Purdue, March 18-20-Men & the Ohio State University, March 25-27, Women
2011 Hosts: The University of Minnesota, March 24-26-Men & The University of Texas, March 17-19-Women