Taking a page out of the NCAA basketball playbook, the organization announced Thursday that the men’s and women’s Division I soccer tournaments will be held in one city.
Cary, N.C. and surrounding areas will be the venue for both competitions, in a plan approved by an oversight committee.
Tbe NCAA Division I basketball tournaments are being held in and around Indianapolis, Ind. this month.
The NCAA’s soccer committees said that having all 48 women’s teams and 36 men’s teams in one region will help minimize travel, eliminate the need to comply with differing local COVID-19 protocols and cut the length of the postseason.
The tournaments will run from April 27 through May 17.
The tournament fields will be selected on April 19. First-round games for the women are April 27-28 while the men begin play on April 29.
Both national championship games will be held on May 17 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
Wake Forest, North Carolina-Wilmington and UNC Greensboro are among the area campuses that will host games, as well as other sites including Bryan Park in Greensboro and the J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex in Wilson.
“This is a major announcement and an incredible opportunity for the Town of Cary and the entire state of North Carolina,” Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance said in a statement. “Cary has clearly established itself as the collegiate soccer capital of the U.S., and North Carolina is known nationally as a premier state for college sports, so it all came together perfectly.”