Aliso Viejo, Calif.,– The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that the Golden State Athletic Conference and the city of Irvine have been granted the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship in 2018 and 2019. The Orange County Great Park Soccer Stadium, which opened this past August, will be home to the 16-team tournament.
“On behalf of the nine universities of the Golden State Athletic Conference, we are thrilled to bring this NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship to Orange County,” said Mike Daniels, Commissioner of the Golden State Athletic Conference. “The partnership with Destination Irvine, the city of Irvine and the Orange County Great Park will ensure the 16 teams traveling to Irvine will have a memorable experience as they compete for this national collegiate title.”
Tickets for next year's tournament will go on sale Monday, December 4, 2017.
The men’s soccer championship has been held in California four previous times. The tournament was in Pasadena in 1976 and in Fresno in 1984, 2008 and 2009.
“We are excited to start a new chapter with men’s soccer in Irvine, California,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “Our team is eager to work alongside the Golden State Athletic Conference to make this championship event memorable for our student-athletes.”
All games in the week-long event will be played in the new 2,500-seat Championship Stadium at the Orange County Great Park Sports Complex.
“This winning bid is a true community effort; the support of the City of Irvine, its new Orange County Great Park Sports Complex along with our hotel partners made it possible for our Destination Irvine sales team to secure the 2018 and 2019 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship for Irvine,” said Bryan Starr, President/CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, Irvine Economic Development and Destination Irvine. “The new Sports Complex gives Irvine a new level of competitiveness that we can leverage to attract sporting events of this caliber