NU and Qwest Center Omaha Selected to Host 2008 NCAAs
Omaha, Neb. – For the second time in three years, college volleyball’s biggest event will come to Omaha, as the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee announced Monday that the Qwest Center Omaha will play host the 2008 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships.
The University of Nebraska and the Omaha Sports Commission, will co-host the 2008 event, which will be held December 18 and 20, 2008. The Qwest Center Omaha will host this year’s NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December, an event that sold out 11 months in advance.
"Landing the 2008 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship is a testament to our community and their appetite for good collegiate sports," said Roger Dixon, president/CEO, Qwest Center Omaha. "The people in Omaha and throughout the state of Nebraska have been loyal supporters of volleyball, and we are proud to be part of the cooperative effort responsible for bringing the 2008 event to them."
According to Nebraska Athletic Director Steve Pederson and NU Volleyball Coach John Cook, the fans who turned out in record-breaking numbers for last December’s NCAA regional, including an NCAA tournament record crowd of 15,119 for the title match, played an instrumental role in Omaha landing this prestigious event for the second time in three years.
“Nebraska fans have again set the standard with their response to a great NCAA event. The return of the volleyball championships in 2008 is terrific for this University, for the City of Omaha, and for the State of Nebraska,” Pederson said. “We are grateful for the partnerships in Omaha that have helped accomplish this goal. These kinds of successes are truly a team effort.”
“It’s a great statement for the state of Nebraska and the city of Omaha,” Cook said. “That year, there will be four major events with NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds, College World Series, the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials and the NCAA Volleyball Championships. Omaha is showing that it can be a great college sports town.”
Qwest Center Omaha had the four largest crowds in college volleyball in 2005, while the two-day regional set an NCAA all-session record of 29,608. The $291 million arena and adjacent convention center, will add an additional 1,500 seats in time for this December’s NCAA Championships, bringing the arena’s capacity to nearly 17,000.
“Some people have called Nebraska volleyball a state treasure, and hosting the NCAA Championships in 2008 certainly helps put Nebraska on the national map for the sport of volleyball,” Cook said. “It’s important for somebody to step up and show that they can fill up arenas in the sport of volleyball. The sport of volleyball needs a statement that it can sell out big arenas.”
The committee also announced that The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa Bay, Fla., has been selected as the site for the 2009 championship.
In addition, the NCAA Committee also announced the four regional sites for this 2006 season, as the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida; the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii; Gregory Gym in Austin, Texas; and the Bank of America Arena in Seattle, Washington will host regionals this December 8-9.
The 2006 championship will be held in Omaha, Nebraska, at the Qwest Center Omaha, December 14 and 16. The 2007 championship will be held in Sacramento, Calif., at ARCO Arena, December 13 and 15.
Tickets information for the 2008 NCAA Championships will be announced by the Qwest Center and the NCAA at a future date. For more information the NCAA Championships, visit www.ncaasports.com.