Preparations are underway at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford to host eight teams from across the country this weekend for the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Division I, II and III Championships.
“It adds a lot of positive energy. It adds to a feeling of hope about what the summer holds and just allows people to get out and do what they enjoy, while showcasing a great sport on a national stage,” said Paul Schlickmann, the director of athletics at Fairfield University.
Fairfield University secured the bid to host the national championships six years ago, long before the COVID-19 pandemic started, according to Schlickmann. He was concerned over the past year about what the event would look like, but Connecticut fully reopened just in time.
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“Two months ago, we weren’t sure if we were going to have any fans here and now, we’re incredibly excited and pleased that it has evolved the way it has. So, we’re looking forward to a great crowd,” said Schlickmann.
The teams will be staying in downtown Hartford, East Hartford, Glastonbury and Windsor. That is more than 500 people filling hotel rooms and eating at local restaurants.
On top of that, the university is preparing for more than 12,000 fans from North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Upstate New York and the surrounding region.
“We’re estimating that this event will have a $4.36 million economic impact for the region and for the state as well as bringing in about $154,000 in state sales tax. It’s definitely a revenue generator. People that are coming to the event are staying in local hotels, they’re going to restaurants, they’re going to attractions and just buying souvenirs, gifts, all sorts of stuff and really helping the economy,” said Bob Murdock, the president of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau.
In addition to the lacrosse championships in East Hartford, there are sporting events in Hartford, Windsor, Newington, Glastonbury and Uncasville on Memorial Day weekend. The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau estimates $7.1 million in economic impact and $261,000 in Connecticut sales tax.
“We have a really busy weekend which is great. There’s really a pent-up demand for sports and for people to get back out in public and enjoy each other and sports and Connecticut,” said Murdock.
List of sporting events in Connecticut this weekend:
NCAA DI, DII, DIII Men’s Lacrosse National Championships: May 29-31, 2021 Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field (East Hartford)
- D1 Semi-Finals May 29
Game 1 – 12 p.m. – UNC (University of North Carolina) vs. UVA (University of Virginia)
Game 2 – 2:30 p.m. – Maryland vs. Duke
- D2 Finals May 30 at 1 p.m.
Le Moyne vs. Lenoir-Rhyne
- D3 Finals May 30 at 4 p.m.
RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) v. Salisbury
- D1 Finals May 31 at 1 p.m.
NCAA DIII Men’s Baseball Regional Championships: May 27-29, 2021 (rain dates of May 30 and 31 if needed)
Trinity College (Hartford)
Oakwood Premier Soccer Memorial Day Tournament: May 29-31, 2021
Oakwood Soccer Park (Portland)
Addison Park (Glastonbury)
Nayaug School (Glastonbury)
Hebron Ave School (Glastonbury)
Glastonbury High School (Glastonbury)
Smith Middle School (Glastonbury)
Middletown Turf Sporting CT (Middletown)
Veterans Memorial Park (Manchester)
Fast Pitch Nation Memorial Day Salute the Troops: May 29-30, 2021
Fast Pitch Nation Park (Windsor)
Boys Future Champions Lacrosse Tournament: May 30-31, 2021
Newington High School (Newington)
2021 New England AAU Volleyball Fun at the Sun: May 29-31, 2021
Mohegan Sun Casino (Uncasville)