San Diego will be the host for the World Lacrosse 2023 Men’s World Championships with games both at San Diego State University and the University of San Diego — the first time that the world championship will be in the state of California.
More than 30 teams and 100 games will be played from June 21 to July 1, 2023. Hosted by the San Diego 2023 Organizing Committee with support from World Lacrosse and USA Lacrosse, the tournament will showcase the top men’s teams in the world as the sport vies for inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
“We’re very grateful for the opportunity to compete in San Diego for the world championship,” USA Lacrosse Chief Executive Officer Marc Riccio said. “For our players, representing the United States while competing for gold has been a lifelong dream. To have the opportunity to do it in their own country, and to help showcase the growth of the sport around our nation, will make it even more special.”
Joe Tsai, owner of the National Lacrosse League’s San Diego Seals, will serve as chair of the San Diego 2023 Organizing Committee. Alongside the world championship, San Diego will host a youth festival for the duration of the tournament to engage with boys’ and girls’ players from around the region, country and world.
The opening and closing ceremonies plus opening game, semifinals and medal round games will be played at Snapdragon Stadium at San Diego State University, a new 35,000-seat stadium that is scheduled to open in September 22. An additional three fields will be used for tournament play at SDSU. The rest of the games will be at the University of San Diego’s 6,000-seat Torero Stadium, which is home to the university’s football and soccer programs, the United Soccer League’s San Diego Loyal and National Women’s Soccer League San Diego Wave FC’s inaugural season (2022). An additional turf field on campus will also host tournament play.
“We’re incredibly excited to bring the premier men’s lacrosse tournament to California for the first time,” World Lacrosse Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr said. “The sport has seen rapid growth around the world and across the United States and this event will serve as a catalyst for additional interest and participation as we seek to gain inclusion for lacrosse in the 2028 Olympics. Under the leadership of a connected and passionate local organizing committee, we anticipate unprecedented exposure for the sport amidst the stunning backdrop that Southern California provides.”
The Men’s World Championship was first held in 1967 and every four years since 1974. The championship was delayed by one year due to COVID-19 after originally scheduled for 2022 in British Columbia; 2023 will be the fourth time the tournament is in the United States after Baltimore hosted in 1982 and 1998, along with Denver in 2014. The U.S. will be defending its 2018 title after beating Canada 9-8 in Israel.
“This is a big win for San Diego,” said San Diego Tourism Authority Chief Executive Officer Julie Coker. “Events like these are critical to the health of our local tourism economy, especially as we continue our recovery. It will also help highlight why San Diego is the perfect destination to host athletes from around the world so we can continue to attract premier sporting events and grow this important sector of our tourism economy.”