Starting Dec. 2, Kennesaw State University will be hosting its first national championship event in history.
The Women’s College Cup, which is the NCAA’s Division I women’s soccer national championship tournament, will be held to play the semifinal and final rounds of the tournament.
More than that, the event itself has nearly sold out of its available tickets. With the tournament down to the final eight teams, there are 800 tickets left in general admission — not including the 800 tickets the NCAA requires KSU Soccer Stadium to withhold for the four teams’ respective fan bases.
“I noticed that about three weeks ago, ticket sales were increasing at a better rate and that’s why we’re hoping that over these last two weeks, we can get another push after the holiday once we know the final four teams,” tournament director Katie Egloff said. “I think it shows that (KSU) is ready to be at this level. To host a national championship is a great honor for any school. With Kennesaw (State) having been Division I for only a short time, it shows confidence in the facility and the university to put on this event.”
With approximately 1,600 tickets left in total, KSU Soccer Stadium is already filled to approximately 80 percent of its 8,300-seat capacity. According to Egloff, the tickets are being purchased mainly by general soccer fans and youth groups. Women’s Professional Soccer’s Atlanta Beat is hosting a youth showcase featuring the North Atlanta Soccer Association during the same weekend in the Cobb County area and many of the parents are buying up tickets for the national championship matches.
By comparison, the KSU Convocation Center holds 4,900. For the school, that means that this event will be the largest of its kind on campus. On top of that, the attendees will all be mostly new to Kennesaw State.
“Seventy-five percent of our crowd will never have been to our stadium before,” athletic director Vaughn Williams said. “Now, we are expanding the blueprint and the traffic plan. And we’re making sure that people have an enjoyable experience from parking to when they come into the event. We’ve definitely had to spend a little more money with event management.
“I would say it would be the largest athletic event. It will be a sold out crowd.”
On top of the added fervor for college soccer, holding a national championship holds much larger ramification for a brand-new athletic department and an athletic program at large that has only been in Division I for three years.
“To host a college cup, this is the first Division I national championship that the university will hold,” Williams said. “I think, from an overall aspect, it will bring a lot of attention to Kennesaw State and Cobb County for those couple of days. We are honored to host it.”
On top of the visibility of having extra patrons in the stands during the Women’s College Cup, the two semifinal matches and the national championship game will all be televised either on ESPN or ESPN2 according to Williams.
“It gives us the visibility that we want and that we have talked about since we’ve got here,” he said. “Any time you can on ESPN or ESPN2 showcasing your location and your facility, I think most people will be blown away by what we have here. I know ESPN really enjoyed our site.”
KSU Soccer Stadium already has hosted Women’s Professional Soccer’s Atlanta Beat, the U.S. women’s national team, Major League Soccer and international men’s soccer.