On very short notice, the NCAA has found a home for the Division II championship game. After being forced to move from Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan., due to renovations contracted by MLS squad Sporting KC, the NCAA announced Thursday that McKinney ISD Stadium will host this December's Division II Championship.
If that name doesn't ring any bells for you, you are forgiven. But if it does, this likely means you're a close reader of this very website. McKinney ISD is in Texas. More specifically: Collin County, Texas, which is the High School Football Palace Capital of the Universe.
McKinney ISD Stadium opened this fall, at a price tag of $69.9 million. This football-only facility is home to three high schools and seats 12,000 people. The four Division II title games at Children's Mercy Park drew an average of 9,194.
“As a committee, we had in-depth discussions regarding the expectations that we have for the venue that would serve as host for this premier Division II Championship,” said NCAA Division II Football Committee chair Reid Amos. “Where we landed was a preference for a neutral site venue in an accessible location with 10-15,000 seats and outstanding amenities to provide our student-athletes with a truly unique championship experience. We are confident that McKinney ISD Stadium, partnered with The Lone Star Conference as host, will allow us to deliver that experience and we look forward to another memorable playoff season and championship game.”
Thursday's news means the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is officially the epicenter of the college football postseason. The area is now home to:
- FCS National Championship (Toyota Stadium, Frisco)
- Division II National Championship (McKinney ISD Stadium, McKinney)
- Cotton Bowl Classic, a CFP semifinal in 2018 (AT&T Stadium, Arlington)
- Armed Forces Bowl (Amon Carter Stadium, Fort Worth)
- Heart of Dallas Bowl (Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas)
- Frisco Bowl (Toyota Stadium, Frisco)
And this doesn't include the Division III championship game, which moves from Salem, Va., to Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah, Texas, north of Houston.
Thursday's announcement indicated McKinney Stadium will host the 2018 championship only; future years are to be determined.
The Division II playoffs begin on Nov. 17, and the championship game heads to Texas on Dec. 15.