The NCAA is preparing to put out a request for bids for 82 of its 89 championships, covering more than 500 preliminary and final host locations for the 2014–2015 through 2017–2018 academic years, the largest single bid effort the organization has organized.

“We are really excited about this new approach,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice-president for championships and alliances. “This will be the largest undertaking for championship bids in the history of the NCAA, and we hope it will yield the best experiences for the student-athletes in our history as well.”

To prepare for the bidding process, the NCAA championships staff will host webinars June 17–21 for schools, conferences, sports commissions, local organizing committees and others to inform entities interested in bidding about the new process. The NCAA championships staff also will conduct a hosting symposium June 26–27 at its headquarters in Indianapolis. The symposium will cover issues such as bracket size of the championship, number of sites needed for each championship, the number of athletics programs that sponsor the sport in each championship, the minimum seating capacity required for a specific championship, the number of teams/participants for each site, the travel party size of the teams and the hotel block size both in room nights and peak nights.

Bids will officially become available on July 15, with intents to bid due by August 9. Final bids will be due September 16 with sites being awarded in December.

Events excluded from the upcoming process include the Division I Men’s and Women’s Final Fours for 2017–2019. Cities interested in hosting those events will received bid specifications by September 16. Cities will have until May 2, 2014, to finalize bids for those events with Final Four sites announced in fall 2014. There will be no request for bids for the Division I Baseball Championship, the Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, the Division I Football (Championship Subdivision) Championship and the Division I Softball Championship, which already have host locations selected.

“We feel like this will allow for greater strategy from the host institutions and cities as well as the NCAA,” said Lewis. “It will also create efficiencies in areas such as signage and hotels that will ultimately create a better experience for everyone involved.”

More information is available at www.ncaa.org/bids.