Just four years after hosting their first ever Frozen Four in 2012 the Tampa Bay Times Forum will once again host college hockey’s NCAA Championship event. The announcement that the 2016 Frozen Four would be returning to Tampa came on Wednesday and it is a huge coup for the area.
Tampa’s Frozen Four is set for April 7 and 9, 2016. The other cities picked to host the event were Boston (2015), Chicago (2017) and St. Paul, Minn. (2018). It should be noted that Tampa did not bid on the 2015 event because it is hosting the NCAA women’s basketball Final Four that March.
So who did Tampa beat out to host the Frozen Four?
How about Brooklyn, N.Y., Buffalo, N.Y., Columbus, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington. All strong hockey cities but Tampa now has to be considered the southern home of college hockey. For the record the host school for the 2016 event will be the University of Wisconsin.
The NCAA has chosen Tampa for six other major events over the coming year including the 2018 Track and Field Regional, which will be held at the University of South Florida from May 24-26. The University of Tampa will serve as host for for four NCAA Division II championship events, including volleyball in 2015 at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center, track and field in 2016 and 2017 at IMG Academy and women’s lacrosse in 2018 at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Intramural Complex.
We should also note that a little to the north of the area St. Leo will be the host college for 2016 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships at the Abbey Course. Saint Leo also will host cross-country regional events in 2015 and 2016.
So, over the next four years the Tampa area will be the home to some of the NCAA’s most entertaining and competitive events.