CLEVELAND, OHIO - The Mid-American Conference has announced that the 2011 and 2012 MAC Women's Volleyball Tournaments will move to SPIRE, part of the GaREAT family, located in Geneva, Ohio. The 2011 event will be held November 18-20, while the 2012 championship will be held November 16-18. SPIRE Sports Complex and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will act as co-hosts of the event, which had been held at the Toledo SeaGate Centre from 2006-2010.
"We are thrilled to be working with the MAC once again to bring another championship to the Northeast Ohio region. We're also looking forward to partnering with SPIRE and hope to host many more events together in the near future," said David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
The first phase of the SPIRE Sports Complex opened in 2009. The Beynon PolyTurf Plus playing surface has been tested and comes highly recommended by John Hawks, USA Volleyball Men's Junior National Team Head Coach. SPIRE is the only facility in the world to feature an elastic shock pad beneath the surface which provides a more forgiving surface for athletes to reduce injuries. The facility also includes locker rooms, concessions, practice courts and suites overlooking the playing area.
"We are thrilled that MAC has chosen SPIRE to host the MAC Women's Volleyball Championship," said SPIRE founder Ron Clutter. "SPIRE is committed to operating the best collegiate and high school sports events in the country. We look forward to extending the most technologically advanced volleyball facilities available and providing first rate hospitality to the teams, officials and spectators. Work has already begun as we prepare for what we know will be a wonderful experience for all."
SPIRE is a non-profit corporation created to focus both energy and funding towards creating a world-class multipurpose facility. After all four phases of the complex are completed; there will be over 450,000 square feet on a 175-acre campus. This venue annually hosts volleyball clinics, tournaments and leagues. In addition to volleyball courts, the complex serves as host in various sports such as baseball, basketball, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball and track and field.
"We are extremely pleased to partner with SPIRE to host our MAC women's volleyball championship," said Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, Mid-American Conference Commissioner. "This state of the art facility has rapidly gained a positive reputation within the volleyball community nationally. I am confident that our student-athletes and fans will have a quality championship experience. Additionally I would like to thank our previous hosts in Toledo. For the past five years, they have been our partner and we are grateful for their efforts."
In addition to the venue change for 2011, the MAC Women's Volleyball Tournament will now only take the league's top eight teams to the championship instead of all 12 as in the past. This will eliminate the first round campus site games and send all tournament participants to SPIRE.
For more information on the MAC click here.
For more information on SPIRE click here.
For more information on Greater Cleveland Sports Commission click here.
About Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission prides itself on being one of the most distinguished Sports Commissions in the country, effectively leveraging sports events and activities to further economic development in Northeast Ohio. The philosophy of the Sports Commission sets it apart from others by operating as an economic and community development organization utilizing sports as a vehicle to forward other community agendas. The organization takes the unique approach of becoming a management and financial partner in each event with the goal of producing events that are more successful in Cleveland than other cities in which they have been held. Since 2000, the Sports Commission has been responsible for attracting over 100 sporting events, contributing to more than $300 million in economic activity.
Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12-member conference that sponsors 23 championships and is one of 11 members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in six (6) states - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio. In addition a 13th school - Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. -- is an affiliate member for football only.
Current MAC schools that hold full membership and the year they joined are -- East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947). Temple University (2007) competes in the East Division in football only. The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.