College football’s national championship is coming to the pitch. Well, the Division 2 college football championship that is.
For years the destination to crown the national champion in Division 2 football had been Florence, Alabama. That will change starting in 2014 when the national championship game moves to Kansas City’s Sporting Park, home of the MLS club Sporting Kansas City since 2011. The location change will be in effect from 2014 through the 2017 season, the NCAA announced Wednesday among a number of future championship sites for various sports.
The game had been played on the campus of North Alabama since 1986. Braly Municipal Stadium served as the host venue for the game, with a capacity of 14,215. The stadium is considered a fine venue by Division 2 standards, but a move to a newer stadium in a region closer to some of top Division 2 powers in the north and midwest could end up being a boost for the game as well. Opened in 2011, Sporting Park has a seating capacity of 18,467 for soccer, which should be the comparable number for college football.
The Division 2 championship game has been played in California, Texas, and New Mexico before establishing a seemingly permanent home in Florence, Alabama in 1986.