The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced that the University of North Dakota, in a joint bid with Ralph Engelstad Arena, is one of four finalists to host the NCAA Women's Frozen Four tournament for the 2014-18 championship seasons.
Cities were able to bid for one or more years of the same championship and UND's bid included each of the aforementioned seasons. Other finalists to host those championships include Minneapolis, Durham, N.H., and St. Charles, Mo.
"We're thrilled to potentially have the opportunity to host a NCAA Women's Frozen Four event," said UND Director of Athletics Brian Faison. "Ralph Engelstad Arena is the pre-eminent college hockey facility and has demonstrated a history of staging world-class sporting events. At UND Athletics, we constantly seek opportunities to bring major sporting events to the Grand Forks community that will showcase our University and facilities, while also providing positive economic impact for our city and region."
The finalists for all sport championships were selected by the respective sport committees, which are made up of coaches and administrators from NCAA member schools and conferences, from an original pool of 1,948 bids. The committees will select the winning sites, which must then be approved by the appropriate divisional championships cabinets/committees before being announced via webcast at NCAA.com on Dec. 11. The announcement also will include all pre-determined regional host sites.
UND had also previously submitted bids to host the NCAA Men's and Women's Ice Hockey Regional Championships.
Previous large-scale sporting events hosted by Ralph Engelstad Arena have included the 2005 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, the 2006 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey West Regional Championship, the 2008 World Men's Curling Championship, the 2003 WCHA Women's Final Face-Off, and the 2005 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Elite Eight.