The 2014 NCAA men's lacrosse Championship Weekend at M&T Bank Stadium will have some competition right next door.
The newly released Orioles 2014 schedule has home dates against the Cleveland Indians over Memorial Day weekend, as first noted by the Baltimore Business Journal. The Orioles and Indians meet at Camden Yards on May 22-25; the Division I lacrosse semifinals are set for May 24, the Division II and III finals for the 25th and the Division I championship on May 26.
The stadiums share a parking lot, and schedule conflicts in the Baltimore area are nothing new. The Grand Prix of Baltimore has been canceled for 2014 and 2015 because of a Ohio State-Navy football game at M&T Bank Stadium and an American Legion convention over the next two Labor Day weekends, respectively, and the Ravens were forced to open this season in Denver because of a home Orioles game.
“I am sure we will have discussions at the appropriate time as to how they will best be able to work around our schedule,” the Baltimore Business Journal quotes Orioles vice president for communications and marketing Greg Bader as saying.
A Ravens representative said the team will work with the Orioles and Maryland Stadium Authority to address the challenges.
The NCAA is looking to combat a downturn in championship attendance. This year’s Championship Weekend in Philadelphia brought 79,179 to Lincoln Financial Field — the sixth straight decline in attendance. Baltimore last hosted the final four in 2011 (98,786 total attendance) and 2010 (102,219).
Division III brackets to expand in 2014
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The Division III men's and women’s lacrosse brackets will grow for next season, the NCAA said in a news release. The men’s will expand from 29 to 30 teams, while the women’s will increase from 32 to 36.
The men's additional bid will be an automatic qualifier in Pool A for the North Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Championship Committee had asked for the men’s tournament to include 31 teams as a result of the overall growth of the game but settled on 30; an even-numbered bracket has cost benefits.