NJCAA Tournament Leaving Salina

The National Junior College Athletic Association is moving its Division I Women’s Basketball Championship out of Salina following the 2015 tournament at the Bicentennial Center.

The NJCAA made the announcement it will move the tournament to Lubbock, Texas, from 2016 to 2018 on Thursday during its meetings in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Mary Ellen Leicht, Executive Director of the NJCAA said, “The NJCAA greatly appreciates the hard work and passion that the city of Salina, its volunteers and tournament director Tiffany Benien have put in to this championship over the last 17 years. The decision to part ways was a difficult one and was not taken lightly by the Championship Events Committee. The NJCAA is looking forward to hosting the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship in Salina in 2015.”

“Certainly this is not the outcome we’d hoped for,” stated Tiffany Benien, Sports & Special Events Manager for the Chamber. “The Chamber, the Bicentennial Center, the business community and our dedicated volunteers – 250 strong – have supported this event whole-heartedly. Although disappointed, we are extremely proud of the job we’ve done and of the proposal we submitted for 2016-2018. We’ve run a quality tournament since the ’97-’98 season, and believe that experience and Salina’s hospitality to the teams, fans, media and recruiting coaches will be immensely difficult to match. We look forward to continuing that legacy when we host the event in March 2015. Our staff, partners, local business sponsors, hospitality industry, and community volunteers will continue to support the tournament as we complete our current contract. It has been a great pleasure to work with the NJCAA, and we welcome the opportunity to continue that relationship as other opportunities arise.”

Salina has hosted the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Championship since the 1997-98 season.

The 2015 NJCAA Women’s Basketball Championship will run from March 16 to 21 at the Bicentennial Center.