Press Releases

PHILADELPHIA SELECTED TO HOST FIVE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS BETWEEN 2023 AND 2026

14 October, 2020

Philadelphia, PA (October 14, 2020) – Today the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced host sites for championship events for the 2022/2023 - 2025/2026 seasons, and Philadelphia emerged as one of the clear national winners. Regional partners, including local universities, sporting event venues, the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) and its PHL Sports division, will work together to host multiple NCAA Championships in Wrestling, Men's Basketball, Women's Rowing and Men's Lacrosse. These five events, in addition to the previously announced 2022 Men's Basketball East Regional, will bring over 128,500 unique attendees to Philadelphia generating more than 76,000 room nights across the region. 

The five championships awarded to Philadelphia in this bid cycle include:

  • 2023 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship, Lincoln Financial Field
    • Host: Drexel University
  • 2023 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships, Cooper River/Camden County
    • Host: Temple University
  • 2024 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship, Lincoln Financial Field
    • Host: Drexel University
  • 2025 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Well Fargo Center
    • Host: Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania
  • 2026 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball 1st/2nd Rounds, Wells Fargo Center
    • Host: Saint Joseph's University

“We are thrilled to welcome NCAA athletes, coaches and fans back to the Philadelphia region, and are proud to work alongside our many venue, university and civic partners to secure these high profile and impactful events,” said Gregg Caren, PHLCVB President & CEO. “These sporting events will bring over 128,000 attendees who will stay in our hotels, dine in our restaurants and shop in our stores. By securing this critically important tourism business for Philadelphia, we are providing stability for our industry's future, including jobs for Philadelphians and will generate revenue and taxes in support of our overall economic recovery.”

The 13-month NCAA bid process required a regional approach among a number of area partners, including the City of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field, Camden County Boathouse, Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Saint Joseph's University. Each partner played a fundamental role in winning these bids.

“This is another tremendous example of the collaborative camaraderie of the Philadelphia sports community,” said Eagles President and PHL Sports Advisory Board Chair Don Smolenski. “The PHLCVB and its PHL Sports division have worked for well over a year with our area partners to successfully bring these events to our great city. We look forward to the many incredible events on our city's sports calendar over the next several years, and in furthering Philadelphia's reputation as a top sports destination.” 

The following are reactions from civic, venue and university partners: 

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney

“Philadelphia's continued success in securing top sporting events like these NCAA championships is a testament to the incredible partnerships among our universities, sports venues and civic organizations. I congratulate everyone involved in putting these winning bids together. We all look forward to the days when our arenas and stadiums will once again be filled with fans and the economic activity driven by tourism returns. Tourism is a vital component to Philadelphia's economic recovery and major events like these will help ensure a bright future for all our hospitality workers.”

VENUES

Valerie Camillo, Wells Fargo Center President of Business Operations

“We are delighted to host the 2025 Division I NCAA Wrestling Championship and 2026 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball First and Second Round Games. Wells Fargo Center has played host to epic moments in college sports history, and we are excited to welcome collegiate sports fans from across the nation to once again experience the thrills and excitement of our world-class arena.”

Don Smolenski, Philadelphia Eagles President

“Along with our partners, PHL Sports and Drexel University, we would like to thank the NCAA Bid Committee for awarding Philadelphia and Lincoln Financial Field the opportunity to host the NCAA Lacrosse Championships in 2023 and 2024. We have had the honor of serving as hosts many times over the years and have always enjoyed the tremendous competition at the Division I, II and III levels. We are excited to welcome back the NCAA, its student-athletes, coaches, and the lacrosse community to Philadelphia.”

Jeffrey Nash, Camden County Freeholder

“We are honored to be hosting the 2023 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships at one of the nation's finest rowing venues. Cooper River Park has evolved and grown into an elite rowing course with the best straight away lanes in the country and very little current. We are looking forward to having athletes, teams and families come and stay with us for this momentous event and accommodating the top rowers competing at the highest levels in the United States.”

UNIVERSITIES

Eric Zillmer, Drexel University Director of Athletics and PHL Sports Advisory Board Vice Chair

“By securing the Wrestling and Lacrosse championships, Philadelphia will play host to two of the top five highest-attended and most impactful NCAA championships and Drexel Athletics is proud to host both championships. Hosting two events of this magnitude, in conjunction with the PHLCVB and its PHL Sports division, the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Pennsylvania is a great honor. These championships at world-class facilities like Lincoln Financial Field and the Wells Fargo Center should once again highlight Philadelphia as a premier host and sports destination city. We couldn't be more excited to be a part of these events.”

Dr. Grace Calhoun, T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. W'69 Director of Athletics and Recreation at Penn and PHL Sports Advisory Board Vice Chair

“We are thrilled to team with our friends at the NCAA, the PHLCVB and its PHL Sports division, Drexel University and the Wells Fargo Center to bring the 2025 NCAA Wrestling Championship to our great city. The Philadelphia wrestling eco-system is robust, with nationally-recognized programs, renowned coaches, and significant volunteer support which will galvanize the community in supporting this world-class event.”

Roger Reina, University of Pennsylvania Head Wrestling Coach

“Penn Wrestling is thrilled to partner in hosting the NCAA Championships, returning to Philadelphia following a record-setting event in 2011. I was honored to serve as Chair of the Local Organizing Committee for those 2011 Championships and can't wait to be on the floor coaching Penn wrestlers in 2025. Our region is well-known as a wrestling hotbed at every level of competition and we will celebrate our region's incredible love for our great sport.”

Fran Dunphy, Temple University Acting Director of Athletics

“This is a great day for Temple University with our athletics department being selected as the host of the 2023 NCAA Women's Rowing National Championship.  I want to thank the NCAA for awarding Temple this prestigious event as well as PHL Sports Executive Director Larry Needle and his staff for all the hard work put in to helping secure these bids.” 

Jill Bodensteiner, Saint Joseph's Director of Athletics

"We are honored by the selection to host the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship in Philadelphia. Philadelphia has a passionate and storied history of college basketball, and we're thrilled for this opportunity to showcase that rich basketball tradition with the current spirit of the collegiate game." 

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About the PHLCVB:
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) creates positive economic impact across the Philadelphia region, driving job growth and promoting the health and vibrancy of our hospitality industry by marketing the destination, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and attracting overnight visitors. The PHLCVB's work engages our 800 members, the local Philadelphia community as well as culturally and ethnically diverse regional, national and international convention, sporting event and tourism customers. The PHLCVB is also the official tourism promotion agency for the city of Philadelphia globally and is responsible for growing the number of overseas leisure visitors who come to the region each year. To learn more, visit  www.discoverPHL.com,


About PHL Sports, a division of the PHLCVB:

PHL Sports, a business division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, seeks to attract major sporting events and conventions to the Philadelphia area. PHL Sports, working in conjunction with the City of Philadelphia, the city's professional teams and universities, has attracted many events to the city and is currently working on bids for future sporting events. To learn more about PHL Sports, visit www.discoverPHL.com/phlsports.