The NCAA announced Tuesday morning that Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., will be the site for the 2017 and 2018 men's lacrosse Division I semifinals and finals. The Division II and III championship games will also take place at Gillette Stadium, which has played host to the championships in 2008, 2009 and 2012.
Baltimore, which has served as the site of the championships six previous times, was not in the running for the 2017 and 2018 championships, citing scheduling conflicts with the Orioles.
The Division I title game in 2008 set a record for the largest crowd to watch the tournament final, when 48,970 fans watched Syracuse defeat Johns Hopkins, 13-10.
"We are excited about heading back to Gillette Stadium," Eugene Doris, chair of the Division I men's lacrosse committee and athletics director at Fairfield University, said in a press release distributed by the NCAA. "The venue is one of the best in the nation and will provide our student-athletes with a memorable experience. Lacrosse in the New England area continues to explode, and we are excited to bring our event to the area to showcase what NCAA lacrosse is all about.
Robert Kraft – chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group and owner of the New England Patriots, which plays at Gillette Stadium – said he looks forward to the lacrosse events.
"We are honored to have earned the bid to host the NCAA men's lacrosse championships at Gillette Stadium in 2017 and 2018," he said. "We love to celebrate championships at Gillette Stadium and are eager to host the lacrosse national championship games for the fourth and fifth times. Lacrosse has seen tremendous growth at all levels throughout New England, and the passion and support by fans of the game were evident when we hosted our first lacrosse championship game and set an attendance record in 2008. We look forward to hosting record-breaking crowds once again in the years ahead."
The Division I men's lacrosse quarterfinals in 2017 will be split between Hofstra's James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y., and Delaware's Delaware Stadium in Newark, Del. In 2018, two quarterfinal games will be held again at Hofstra, while the other two quarterfinal contests will be hosted by the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.