Drake University is a step closer to becoming the host for the NCAA track and field championships.The city of Des Moines is one of six cities that have been named finalists to host the NCAA meet in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Drake president David Maxwell says a 15 million dollars worth of renovations to Drake Stadium are already paying off. He says they’re encouraged with their talks with the NCAA and U-S-A Track and Field that more meets might be coming to Drake.
The other finalists are Baltimore, Austin, Texas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Eugene, Oregon and Sacramento, California, which is the current host through 2008. Maxwell says Drake Stadium provides the NCAA with an opportunity to take the championships to the midwest. Maxwell says he hopes there’s a feeling that it’s the turn of the midwest to host with all the advantages of traveling to the middle of the country.
Maxwell says he likes their chances, as he says they know they’re qualified and will do their best in making the presentation in a couple of weeks. Associate Athletic Director Mark Kostek is one of those working on a proposal. He says they’ll make the presentation at the end of the month to the NCAA Track and Field committee. Kostek says they should know sometime in September if they’re selected.
Kostek says officials from the NCAA attended the Drake Relays back in April to get a first-hand look at the improvements to the stadium. He says those officials were excited about Drake being a host. Sacramento is has one year left on a three year contract to serve as host. Kostek says Drake would also like to get a multi year bid, as he says the NCAA can grant a one, two or three year contract.