University of Pennsylvania to Host 2005 and 2006 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships

Group effort has brought one of the largest NCAA Championships to Philadelphia for a two-year commitment.

May 27, 2004

Philadelphia - The University of Pennsylvania Athletic Department will serve as the host institution for the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships in conjunction with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Philadelphia Sports Congress and the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association. The NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship has become one of the largest championships that the NCAA sponsors on an annual basis.

In 2003, the championship game drew 37,944 fans - the largest crowd to witness any NCAA Championship event other than Division I men's basketball. The Philadelphia Sports Congress estimates that the annual economic impact for the City of Philadelphia could reach $25 million.

"I am delighted that the NCAA has selected Philadelphia to host this major championship," Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street said. "It further demonstrates that Philadelphia is a world-class city with world-class facilities, and we look forward to welcoming lacrosse fans from around the country next year."

"Penn Athletics is proud to sponsor a great championship event such as the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament," University of Pennsylvania Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky, W'71 said. "The state of Pennsylvania has an extremely strong lacrosse community and the Penn lacrosse programs play a nationally-competitive schedule on an annual basis and have an active alumni following. All of these were essential parts of the overall plan for the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Lacrosse Championships making their way to Philadelphia."

Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky, W'71 presents Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street with a commemorative lacrosse stick following the announcement that the City of Philadelphia will host the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship.

The 2005 (May 28-30) and 2006 (May 27-29) NCAA Lacrosse Championships will be the first NCAA championship event held at Lincoln Financial Field which opened in 2003. The 2003 NCAA Championship was played in a professional sports facility for the first time - Baltimore's M & T Bank Stadium. Attendance records were set for each session of the weekend, with total attendance reaching 108,790 for the three-day event.

"We are very pleased to be able to bring another premier event to Philadelphia and Lincoln Financial Field. We consider this another example of the positive impact a world class sports facility creates for the city and surrounding region." Joe Banner, President, Philadelphia Eagles said.

The tournament has been played in Philadelphia two times before - 1973 and 1992 - with Franklin Field serving as the site. Both times, the NCAA Final went to double overtime, with Maryland defeating Johns Hopkins 10-9 in 1973 and Princeton capturing its first title with a 10-9 win over Syracuse in 1992.

Major media coverage has also helped the expansion of the championships as ESPN2 (semifinals) and ESPN (final) have provided live game broadcasts of the Division I action since 1995.

Written by Carla Zighelboim