NAIA to open bid process for World Series
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics officials have decided to open the bidding process for the rights to host the NAIA World Series in 2014 and 2015, Lewis-Clark State College athletic director Gary Picone announced on Tuesday.
The decision means that for the first time in 13 years, any organization, including all NAIA member institutions, will be permitted to submit bids to host the event. LCSC has held exclusive rights to the process since winning the bid in 2000.
"The NAIA has exercised its option to receive additional bids," Picone said. "We are hosting the tournament in 2012 and 2013, and we will be submitting a bid for 2014 and beyond. A challenge we face is deciding whether to continue with the bid model we have used in the past or to transition to a new model."
Bids to host the Series in 2014 and 2015 are due to the NAIA by Dec. 1, 2012.
Picone said he and other Lewis-Clark State officials have met with community supporters and that they strongly support LCSC's continued involvement with the Series.
"Avista's partnership with Lewis-Clark State College and the NAIA as the title sponsor of the series has been a win-win-win for the College, the tournament and the Lewis-Clark region since the tournament returned to Lewiston in 2000," said Mike Tatko, Regional Business Manager for Avista. "In a recent survey, our customers ranked involvement in the Avista NAIA World Series as a top community support activity in our region. Avista is proud to be the title sponsor of this exciting event and fully supports Lewis-Clark State College;s efforts to keep the tournament in the Valley."
This year, May 25-June 1, will be LCSC's 21st time hosting the event.
Lewiston became the host of the World Series in 1984 and hosted the event through 1991. The Series then was hosted by four different cities in eight years, until it returned to Lewiston in 2000, where it has remained since.
A total of 744,214 people have attended the Series in the 20 years it has been held in Lewiston, an average of 1,995 per game.
The highest attendance for one game in Lewiston came in 2008 when 5,530 people attended the championship game. The previous record was 5,480 set in 2006.
In 2009, despite host Lewis-Clark State being eliminated early in the Series, the title game between Lubbock Christian and Point Loma drew a crowd of 4,005.
The first NAIA World Series was played in Alpine, Texas in 1957. This year will be the 56th edition of the event.