KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has released the list of host sites for the ninth annual NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round, the national office announced Monday. The 45-team event is scheduled for May 15 – 18 and features nine, five-team double-elimination tournaments. Opening Round qualifiers and brackets will be announced May 11.
This year's hosts include: Bellevue (Neb.), Faulkner (Ala.), Georgia Gwinnett, Kingsport (Tenn.) Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC), Northwestern Ohio, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Wesleyan, Tabor (Kan.), and William Carey (Miss.).
Faulkner, Georgia Gwinnett, Kingsport CVB/AAC and Tabor all hosted a 2016 Opening Round.
Kingsport and Oklahoma City are the two longest tenured among the hosts, as 2017 marks the seventh time in the event's nine-year history that the locale has housed one of the tournaments.
Northwestern Ohio and Oklahoma Wesleyan are this year's new hosts.
Last season, only three of the nine hosts won their respective Opening Round. Overall, hosts have won 33-of-72 all-time Opening Rounds. Among active NAIA members, Faulkner boasts the most Opening Round titles with five – four of which came at the Eagles' home stadium.
The Opening Round site selection process takes into account geography, facilities, student-athlete experience and host qualification. In the event that a selected bid is tied directly to an institution, that school is guaranteed at least an at-large host berth. The application deadline for bids was April 1.
The nine Opening Round champions and World Series host Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) make up the field at the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series. The World Series, which is taking place at Harris Field for the 18th-consecutive season and 26th time overall, is scheduled to run from May 26 – June 2.
For the complete Opening Round schedule, click here.
For more information on the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, click here.2017 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round Host Sites
|Host||Facility||Host City||Event Title|
|Bellevue (Neb.)||Don Roddy Field||Bellevue, Neb.||Bellevue Bracket|
|Faulkner (Ala.)||Harrison Field||Montgomery, Ala.||Montgomery Bracket|
|Georgia Gwinnett||Grizzly Baseball Field||Lawrenceville, Ga.||Lawrenceville Bracket|
|Kingsport CVB/Appalachian Athletic Conference||Hunter Wright Stadium||Kingsport, Tenn.||Kingsport Bracket|
|Northwestern Ohio||St. Rita's Sports Complex||Lima, Ohio||Lima Bracket|
|Oklahoma City||Jim Wade Stadium||Oklahoma City, Okla.||Oklahoma City Bracket|
|Oklahoma Wesleyan||Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium||Bartlesville, Okla.||Bartlesville Bracket|
|Tabor (Kan.)||Hobart-Detter Field/Rice Field||Hutchinson, Kan.||Hutchinson Bracket|
|William Carey (Miss.)||Milton Wheeler Field||Hattiesburg, Miss.||Hattiesburg Bracket|