On Tuesday, August 29th, the Durham Sports Commission traveled to Indianapolis for the 2026-2028 NCAA Bid Cycle Host Symposium. The DSC staff, along with Board Chair Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree, joined hundreds of representatives from across the country at the NCAA headquarters to learn what the NCAA is looking for in bids to host their future national championships.
The morning began with an introductory meeting where the DSC heard from multiple NCAA representatives, including NCAA President Charlie Baker.
Throughout the day, the DSC team members attended various championship-specific break-out sessions. These included Division I, II and III men’s lacrosse, women’s gymnastics, and Division II and Division II Festival, amongst others. They also met and spoke with multiple championship managers positioned throughout the building. Through these interactions, the DSC formed strong connections with the NCAA representatives involved.
The team also visited the NCAA Hall of Champions, honoring all current and past NCAA champions across all sports.
The symposium provided great information and clarity on what the different championships are looking for in potential hosts and highlighted items to focus on in each bid. The sessions placed a large emphasis on creating a memorable student-athlete experience and community support, specifically finding ways to incorporate diverse businesses into the overall experience.
“Our trip to the Bid Symposium was a great opportunity to prepare ourselves for the upcoming bid cycle. We are confident in Durham as a host for future NCAA events and are excited to continue to grow Durham as a Championship Hub.” – Executive Director Marcus Manning
The team is excited to showcase Durham throughout the bid process. We believe the passion for sports and unwavering community support makes Durham the perfect fit to host future NCAA Championships. Bid submissions are due this upcoming February, and host locations will be announced in October of 2024.
Grand Park Sports Campus
The next day, the team headed north of Indianapolis to Westfield, Indiana to tour Grand Park Sports Campus. Grand Park’s Matthew Trnian and Rachel Nelson toured the team around the complex and provided valuable insights. The tour included a look inside the multi-purpose events center, 31 multi-purpose turf and grass fields, and 26 baseball diamonds. The team learned about maintaining a large-scale facility and the positive economic impact it has on the surrounding area.
Additionally, the September 13-15 Inter-City Visit to Indianapolis hosted by Discover Durham, Downtown Durham, Inc., the DSC, and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce featured Grand Park. The over 70 business leaders, elected officials and additional Durham stakeholders in attendance visited and learned about Grand Park’s success and how we can continue to accelerate sports and tourism in Durham.
We remain focused on learning how to continue to make Durham a sports destination both today and in the future. We know that bringing championship-level events to Durham will continue to provide positive social and economic impact for our community.