Drake University has been selected to host the NCAA Track and Field Championships in 2008. Associate athletic director Mark Kostek help spearhead the effort to land the event that began when the school decided to spend 15-million dollars to renovate Drake Stadium.
Five cities were finalists in bidding for the meets in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The University of Arkansas will host in 2009 and Oregon will serve as host the following year. Kostek says it’s a time to celebrate and a long time coming as 1970 was the last time they had a championship at Drake.
Drake Relays Director Brian Brown says landing the NCAA meet will be an opportunity to showcase the state of Iowa. Brown says it validates Drake and the state of Iowa and what they’ve known all along, that Des Moines is a championship city.
Brown says hosting a meet the size of the Drake Relays helped their bid. Brown says they recognized that the Drake Relays are a championship event. NCAA officials said the involvement of local and state officials in the bid process may have been the deciding factor.
Greg Edwards is president of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau. He says this will be a chance for the city to put out the welcome mat. Edwards says they approached the bid process as a partnership.The 2008 NCAA meet will be June 11th through the 14th.