Sioux City, Iowa will continue as the host for the NAIA National Championship tournament in 2018, 2019, and 2020. That 3-year extension would make 13 consecutive years that the tournament has been hosted at the Tyson Event Center (formerly Gateway Arena) – 2017 is the 10th season.
The Arena, which opened in late 2003 at a cost of $52 million, seats just under 7,000 people, depending on its configuration. This year’s championship match, which will be held on Saturday, December 2nd, is currently playing its round of 16. Lindsey Wilson College, Corban University, College of Idaho, and Missouri Baptist have advanced to the national quarterfinals, while 4 games are left to be completed: Viterbo vs. Jameston, Morningside vs. Park, Westmont vs. Northwestern, and Dordt vs. Hastings.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with Sioux City for the women’s volleyball national championship,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “They have been an outstanding host for the last 10 years and we look forward to continue working with them for the next three.”
“There was no question that we wanted to extend our partnership with NAIA Volleyball for the next three years,” said Erika Newton, Tyson Events Center Executive Director. “The tournament provides a significant boost to local businesses, and the quality product the NAIA brings to Sioux City is unmatched. Our community has really embraced this championship, and it’s the goal of our fantastic employees, volunteers, and sponsors to make it an unforgettable experience for student-athletes.”
There have been six champions crowned on the floor of the Tyson Event Center/Gateway Arena over the last nine years: former member, Fresno Pacific (Calif.) (2008-2010), former member Texas Brownsville (2011, 2013), former member Concordia (Calif.) (2012), Park (Mo.) (2014), Columbia (Mo.) (2015), Hastings (Neb.) (2016) and the 2017 champion to be decided on Saturday evening.
“It’s very exciting to extend our volleyball contract out past 10 years,” said NAIA Co-Tournament Director and Great Plains Athletic Conference Commissioner Corey Westra. “We are proud of what this tournament has become and look forward to enhancing it more with this new three year contract.”