KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced on Thursday that the men’s and women’s outdoor track and field championships will remain in Gulf Shores, Ala. through 2021 at the Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium at Gulf Shores Sportsplex.
“The NAIA is excited to continue our partnership with the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission," said NAIA President and C.E.O. Jim Carr. "They have been an excellent host over the last five years and they continue to set the bar higher every year.”
The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission and City of Gulf Shores have hosted the championships for the last five years (2014-2018). The Gulf Shores area saw an economic impact of over $3,000,000 in 2018, which was a $70,000 increase from 2017.
"The Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission is proud to continue welcoming the NAIA to our beautiful beaches," said Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for the Sports Commission. "The city of Gulf Shores continues to upgrade its track facilities to provide a championship-caliber experience, benefiting student-athletes and spectators as well as our local students. We encourage all student-athletes, families and fans to soak up our coastal charm from the beach to the Backcountry Trail."
The new contract is set for two years with provisions for improvements to the stadium such as a relocated and expanded high jump area as well as necessary repairs to the pole vault and javelin runways. The city will be exploring other improvements to the facility like a scoreboard upgrade and locker room facilities in the coming years.
The 2019 championships will take place just before Memorial Day weekend on May 23-25.