May has always given us memorable moments regarding NCAA Lacrosse, and this past weekend of the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament Quarterfinals was no different. A gorgeous day at Navy showcased some of the best lacrosse has to offer, and Albany provided us with one of the best lacrosse venues in the game. As we shift our focus to Championship Weekend, one question has constantly come up regarding the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament Quarterfinals. Should the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament Quarterfinals be moved to permanent sites? Navy had a great showing in terms of attendance, which bucked the growing trend of decreasing attendance. Albany provided a great venue, but logistical issues and the weather left people wanting more for their experience. Some of these things you can control, others you cannot. The reality of this question is that it may be impossible to have permanent locations. Schools must submit bids to host; some institutions may only sometimes want to host. The hosting responsibilities fall on the host institution, creating many logistical issues they cannot overcome. Pushing that aside, let’s take a look at four locations that have hosted in the past and could fill the role of permanent hosts and why they make sense. Remember, there are two quarterfinal locations, so two of the four mentioned could be sites.
Navy – Marine Corps Stadium – Annapolis, MD
Historical Significance: The stadium’s connection to the Naval Academy adds a sense of tradition and patriotism to the lacrosse games held there. This historic significance creates a unique and memorable atmosphere for spectators.
Intimate Setting: The stadium’s design provides an intimate setting for lacrosse games. With a seating capacity of around 34,000, the stadium allows fans to be close to the action on the field. This proximity enhances the viewing experience, as spectators can feel the energy and intensity of the game more intimately.
Fan-Friendly Layout: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is designed with fan comfort and convenience in mind. The seating is arranged to provide good sightlines from various vantage points, ensuring spectators have clear views of the field. The stadium also offers ample amenities, including concessions, restrooms, and parking facilities, to enhance the fan experience.
Atmosphere: The stadium’s location and the passionate fan base contribute to a unique and lively atmosphere during lacrosse games. Annapolis has a strong lacrosse culture, and Navy lacrosse games draw dedicated supporters who bring their enthusiasm to the stadium. The chants, cheers, and camaraderie among the fans create an electric atmosphere that adds to the excitement of the game.
Scenic Surroundings: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is situated in a picturesque location. It is located near the Chesapeake Bay and offers beautiful views of the water and surrounding landscape. The scenic backdrop adds to the overall ambiance of the stadium and provides an aesthetically pleasing environment for watching lacrosse.
Accessibility: Annapolis is easily accessible from major cities such as Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. This accessibility makes it convenient for lacrosse fans to attend games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, attracting a diverse and passionate crowd.
Hofstra – Shuart Stadium – Hempstead, NY
Modern Facilities: Shuart Stadium is modern and well-maintained, providing spectators with a comfortable and enjoyable experience. It offers amenities such as comfortable seating, concessions, restrooms, and ample parking, ensuring fans have a positive experience while watching lacrosse. Since dropping football, Shuart Stadium has become a lacrosse-specific stadium.
Excellent Sightlines: The stadium’s design provides excellent sightlines from various seating sections, allowing spectators to view the field clearly. This ensures that fans can closely follow the action and appreciate the skill and strategy of the game. The unobstructed views contribute to an immersive and engaging viewing experience.
Proximity to the Field: Shuart Stadium has a close proximity between the seating areas and the playing surface. This allows fans to feel intimately connected to the game, as they are near the action and can see the players up close. The close proximity enhances the atmosphere and allows spectators to experience the intensity and athleticism of the sport entirely.
Atmosphere: Long Island has a strong lacrosse culture and a passionate lacrosse fan base. The local community and Hofstra University have a history of supporting lacrosse, resulting in a vibrant and enthusiastic atmosphere during games at Shuart Stadium. The energy and excitement from the fans contribute to an electric atmosphere that enhances the overall experience.
Strong Lacrosse Tradition: Long Island has a deep lacrosse tradition and is known as a hotbed for the sport. The region has produced many talented lacrosse players, and the local community genuinely loves and appreciates the game. Watching lacrosse at Shuart Stadium allows fans to witness top-level lacrosse in an area with a rich lacrosse heritage.
Accessible Location: Shuart Stadium’s location in Long Island provides easy accessibility for lacrosse fans from New York City and surrounding areas. Its proximity to major highways and transportation options makes it convenient for spectators to travel to the stadium and enjoy the games.
Cornell – Schoellkopf Field – Ithaca, NY
Rich Lacrosse Tradition: Schoellkopf Field has a long and storied history in the sport of lacrosse. Cornell University has a strong lacrosse program with a rich tradition of success, including multiple national championships. The field’s association with Cornell’s lacrosse legacy creates a sense of tradition and pride, making it an appealing destination for lacrosse enthusiasts.
Intimate Setting: Schoellkopf Field offers an intimate setting for lacrosse games. The stadium’s design ensures spectators are close to the action, providing a more immersive and engaging experience. The proximity to the field allows fans to feel connected to the game, hear the players’ communication, and witness their skill and athleticism up close.
Beautiful Scenery: The stadium’s location in Ithaca, New York, adds to its allure. Surrounded by picturesque scenery, including rolling hills and the nearby Cayuga Lake, Schoellkopf Field offers a breathtaking backdrop for lacrosse games. The natural beauty of the surroundings enhances the overall ambiance and provides a visually pleasing experience for spectators.
Historical Significance: Schoellkopf Field holds historical significance in the world of lacrosse. It has hosted numerous memorable lacrosse moments and significant games throughout the years. The field’s history and the notable lacrosse events that have taken place there add to its appeal and make it a unique venue for lacrosse enthusiasts.
Convenient Location: Situated on Cornell University’s campus, Schoellkopf Field is easily accessible for students, alumni, and local community members. Its central location and proximity to other facilities and amenities make it a convenient and attractive destination for lacrosse fans.
Delaware – Delaware Stadium – Newark, DE
Size and Capacity: Delaware Stadium has a seating capacity of around 22,000, making it a spacious venue to accommodate many lacrosse fans. The ample seating allows for a comfortable viewing experience, and the size of the stadium contributes to an exciting atmosphere during games.
Central Location: Delaware Stadium’s location on the University of Delaware’s campus offers convenience for students, faculty, and local community members to attend lacrosse games. Its accessibility makes it an attractive option for fans. The proximity to New York, Philadelphia, and Maryland, along with its proximity to Interstate 95, makes it an attractive location.
Established Game-Day Experience: Delaware Stadium has a history of hosting sporting events, including football and lacrosse games. The venue’s experience handling game-day operations ensures a well-organized event for spectators. Amenities such as concessions, restrooms, and parking facilities are typically available to enhance the overall fan experience.
Vibrant Crowd: The University of Delaware has an active and engaged student body, which contributes to a lively and spirited atmosphere during lacrosse games. Students, alumni, and local fans often show strong support for their teams, creating an enthusiastic environment that adds to the excitement of the games.
Field Visibility: Delaware Stadium’s design allows for good sightlines, ensuring spectators have clear views of the field. Whether seated close to the action or higher up in the stands, fans can easily follow the game and fully appreciate the skill and athleticism of the players.
Do these four stadiums make sense for the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament Quarterfinals, or is there someone else we missed? All locations can hold more than 10,000 people, so they make for an ideal spot from a size standpoint. Who would you choose?