Sports commission bids on collegiate championships

A Grand Junction organization has submitted bids to bring a variety of collegiate sports championships to the area.

The Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission announced it has submitted a total of 20 bids to the National Collegiate Athletic Association to bring various championships to local venues during upcoming seasons.

“It’s no secret the Grand Valley is an ideal location to host sporting events, and as a community we are letting the NCAA know we’re ready to host events at the next level,” said Kristi Pollard, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership and chairwoman of the sports commission board of directors.

The commission — a collaborative effort of Colorado Mesa University, Mesa County, the cities of Grand Junction and Fruita and town of Palisade — promotes sports events that contribute to the Grand Valley economy.

The commission submitted bids for NCAA Division II championships in men’s and women’s cross country, soccer, swimming and diving and tennis. The bids cover events for seasons from 2018 to 2022.

The commission also submitted bids for national collegiate championships in men’s and women’s rifle and skiing. Those events would include participants from Division I, II and III and cover seasons from 2018 to 2022.

The events are proposed for venues at Colorado Mesa University, including the Elliott Tennis Center, El Pomar Natatorium, Maverick Pavilion and Walker Field. Events also are proposed for Canyon View Park in Grand Junction and Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Grand Mesa.

Pollard said CMU and Grand Junction has a long history of hosting collegiate sports events, including conference and regional championships. Grand Junction has hosted the Junior College Baseball World Series since 1957.

“The NCAA bid process was truly a community wide collaborative effort,” Pollard said. “Our bids included letters of support from Grand Junction, Mesa County, Fruita, Palisade, CMU and Powderhorn highlighting the breadth of venues we have available.”