SEWANEE, Tenn. (Oct. 14, 2020) - In partnership with the Chattanooga Sports Committee, the University of the South has been chosen as a host institution for the 2026 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Tennis Championships in Chattanooga, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) office announced Wednesday afternoon.
The Championships will last a full week with the dates slated for May 18-24, 2026.
Sewanee will be hosting the event for the second time after earning the opportunity to host the tennis championships in 2017, also in the Scenic City.
"The University of the South is proud to collaborate with the City of Chattanooga to serve as host for the NCAA Division III Tennis Championships. The tennis traditions in Sewanee and Chattanooga are exemplary, and the quality of facilities and volunteers in the Scenic City will ensure a first-rate national championship," stated Director of Athletics Mark Webb.
A total of 16 teams, eight men and eight women, will be in the Scenic City for the team championships. There will also be a sanctioned NCAA individual championships as well. A singles championship comprised of 64 players and a 32-team doubles championship will wrap up the week's festivities.
This is the third time for this specific NCAA championship bid process, which created the largest host site announcement ever, spanning 86 championships across a four-year cycle. Previously, selection announcements varied by sport. This process now gives the NCAA and host sites more time to plan each championship experience.
Bidding for 86 of 90 NCAA championships began in August 2019 and more than 3,000 bid applications were ultimately submitted. Each sport committee, per division, selected the host sites it believed would provide the ultimate experience for the respective student-athletes, resulting in more than 450 total championship event sites being awarded. More than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships each year.
"The response of our membership, host cities, and local organizing committees to this process was tremendous," said Joni Comstock, NCAA senior vice president of championships. "Thanks to their commitment, we are excited that our student-athletes will play in some of the top locations and venues in the United States."
Along with Sewanee, the Chattanooga Sports Commission played a large role in securing the bid. An extension of the Chattanooga Tourism Company, the Chattanooga Sports Commission is responsible for creating, capturing, and cultivating sports tourism in the greater Chattanooga region. Upon Wednesday's release, the Commission secured six NCAA Championship bids, covering softball, men's and women's soccer, and men's and women's tennis.
"Today's announcement is a big win for our community, our sports scene, and our region's economy," said Tim Morgan, chief sports officer of Chattanooga Sports, a division of the Chattanooga Tourism Co. "Our range of facilities, vibrant destination, and collaboration among community partners make the Chattanooga region an ideal sports destination. We're honored to host these championships with our incredible sports partners."
Sewanee Tennis is no stranger to hosting prestigious championships. Along with the NCAA, the University hosted the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Women's Indoor National Championships from 2017-19.
"The men's and women's tennis programs at Sewanee have a long history of competing in the NCAA Championships. We thoroughly enjoyed sharing all the great things that Chattanooga has to offer with our friends and competitors from across the country. I know they, like our teams at Sewanee, are excited about returning to the Scenic City in 2026," said Sewanee Director of Tennis, John Shackleford.
About Chattanooga Sports & Chattanooga Tourism Company
The Chattanooga Tourism Co. promotes and develops visitor experiences for our community's economic and social prosperity. Chattanooga has been named one of 10 Best Small Cities in the U.S. in Conde Nast Traveler, a 2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live by Livability, and one of 7 Rising U.S. Cities that Should be on Your 2019 Bucket List by TripAdvisor. Learn more at VisitChattanooga.com or follow us on social media @VisitChatt.
About Sewanee Athletics
The University of the South sponsors 24 intercollegiate varsity athletic teams and is a charter member of the Southern Athletic Association. Along with being proud members of NCAA Division III, Sewanee is also affiliated with the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association. For more information, visit SewaneeTigers.com or follow us on social media @SewaneeTigers.
About the University of the South
The University of the South, familiarly known as Sewanee, is an independent liberal arts college located on 13,000 acres atop Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Chattanooga. It has been consistently ranked among the top tier of national liberal arts colleges.