Posted-December 11th, 2013 3:04 pm
MADISON, Wis. -- The NCAA has awarded the 2016 NCAA Men's Frozen Four to Tampa, Fla., with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and the University of Wisconsin set as co-hosts at Tampa Bay Times Forum. The event will run April 7-9, 2016.
The Tampa Bay Times Forum, which seats 19,204 for hockey, played host to the NCAA Frozen Four in 2012. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission partnered with Alabama Huntsville that year.
Wisconsin has experience as Frozen Four hosts in the past, as the 2006, 1997 and 1993 NCAA Frozen Fours were all held at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee with UW as the host school. Wisconsin hoisted the National Championship trophy in 2006, while the 1993 and 1997 Frozen Fours were won by Maine and North Dakota, respectively.
"The last time we hosted the Frozen Four, we won it all in Milwaukee, so we look forward to having that chance once again," Wisconsin Head Coach Mike Eaves said. "One of our goals each season is to reach the Frozen Four, so it would be a unique experience for us to co-host at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and hopefully play in such a sunny locale."
Tampa Bay was one of four Frozen Four locations announced by the NCAA, as Boston (TD Garden - April 9-11, 2015), Tampa Bay (Tampa Bay Times Forum), Chicago (United Center - April 6-8, 2017) and St. Paul (Xcel Energy Center - April 5-7, 2018) will host the Frozen Fours from 2015-2018. They join Philadelphia (Wachovia Center), which hosts this year's event on April 10 and 12, 2014.
"We really want to thank everyone who put in a bid," said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances. "The competitiveness of the bids made it extremely difficult for the sport committees to select sites as there just weren't spots for all of the great bids we received. Ultimately the sites that were selected will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans the best experience possible."
The new NCAA championship bid process creates the largest host site announcement ever, spanning 82 championships across a four-year cycle. Previously, selection announcements varied by sport. This process now gives the NCAA and host sites more time to plan each championship experience.
Bidding for 82 of 89 NCAA championships began in July and 1,984 bid applications were ultimately submitted. Each sport committee, per division, selected the host sites it believed would provide the ultimate experience for the respective student-athletes, resulting in 523 total championship event sites awarded. The seven championships not included in the process due to preexisting site arrangements are: Division I baseball, Division I men's basketball, Division I football, Division I men's and women's golf, Division I softball and Division III women's ice hockey.