May 22, 2003
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Heading into the final days of the Sun Belt Conference's annual meetings in Destin, Fla., Western Kentucky University Director of Athletics Dr. Wood Selig announced Thursday that the school will submit bids for nine league championships in 2005-06.
Selig estimated that the combined figure for the nine bids would be approximately $500,000 if WKU is awarded each event. The league office will announce the hosts for future championships at the conclusion of the meetings Friday.
"As a result of a commitment from the University to first-class facilities, we are in an outstanding position to host championship events," said Selig. "We always want to host as many championships as possible in order to give our teams and student-athletes a competitive advantage. In many regards, winning these championships has NCAA implications, which is always our goal."
For the '05-06 season, Western will submit bids to host men's and women's cross country, women's soccer and volleyball in the fall, both the men's and women's basketball tournaments in the winter, and the baseball and men's and women's outdoor track and field events at the end of the year.
Looking ahead to 2003-04, WKU will see the number of Sun Belt championship events on campus increase for the third consecutive year. The school will play host to each fall championship, beginning with the men's and women's cross country meet Nov. 1. The women's soccer tournament will take place Nov. 5-8, and E.A. Diddle Arena will play host to the volleyball championship for the first time since 1985 on Nov. 20-22. And, the men's and women's basketball tournament will be held at Diddle Arena for the second straight year in March.
The softball tournament - which was held in Bowling Green earlier this month - will return to campus in May 2005, while WKU is also submitting a bid for the 2004 men's and women's cross country championships.
The SBC held its men's and women's cross country championships in Bowling Green in 2001, while Western played host to the men's and women's basketball and softball tournaments this year.
"Any championship event is a great spectator event," Selig said. "By hosting these championships in Bowling Green, we feel that we are serving the sports fans of the city as well as the surrounding region."