Will NCAA Find Success In MLS Stadiums?

Mike Getman

They didn’t sell all of the 13,000 or so seats at Region Park in Hoover, for the 2012 NCAA Division I College Cup championship game, but the crowd of 9,242 was the second largest since 2004 when 13,601 turned out at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

When the announcement was made in 2011 that Hoover would host the men’s Division I championships for two years, it raised some eyebrows.

Afterall, the University of Alabama Birmingham Blazers were the only Division I men’s soccer program in the entire state of Alabama.

UAB head coach Mike Getman was a member of the Division I Coaches Committee, and he believed it would work in Alabama. The prospects of good weather in December, and a promotional organization to attract spectators, was the underpinning of the successful bid to host the event.

The two years in Hoover, a community outside of Birmingham, drew over 18,000 combined for both championship games.

At the time the bids were extended, the local organizers were thinking about providing the NCAA with a permanent venue for the championships, and that included the women’s championships all on the same weekend.

The NCAA recently announced venues for the next four years. Neve

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