Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/1/13
Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field has been named as a finalist to host the men’s lacrosse championships in the four-year window of 2015 to 2018, the NCAA has announced.
Chicago’s Soldier Field and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., are the other finalists.
The NCAA had said this summer that in response to declining attendance at the event, it would consider holding the event at smaller venues, so this announcement was a surprise to some. The NCAA has been holding the championship weekend at NFL stadiums since 2003.
Lincoln Financial Field was the host site this year when attendance continued to drop. The total attendance for the three days was 79,179 (28,224 Saturday, 22,511 Sunday and 28,444 for the D1 finals Monday). That is well down from the record of 146,003 drawn in 2007 for championship weekend at M&T Bank Stadium.
There has been much discussion about reasons for sagging attendance, including rising ticket prices, the struggling economy and the greater interest in lacrosse on TV, among others.
It had been expected that the state of Maryland would bid to host the tourney, possibly at Navy Marine-Corps Stadium (holds 34,000).
It also was announced that St. Joseph’s has bid to host the women’s championship weekend at PPL Park.