Oklahoma City’s new-found status as a major league city hasn’t impacted its ability to continue to attract elite collegiate athletic events. In the next two weeks, three championships will be contested in Oklahoma City.
And civic leaders have grand plans to expand the city’s reputation as the home of collegiate championships. This spring’s run of big events in Oklahoma City continues today with the American Collegiate Rowing Association Championships in the Boathouse District of the Oklahoma River. About 1,000 rowers from universities across the nation will compete from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. The Big 12 Baseball Championships open at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark on Wednesday, when the top eight teams from the conference will vie for the league crown. And the NCAA’s college softball showcase, the Women’s College World Series, celebrates its 20th year in Oklahoma when the ESPN-televised event is held at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium June 3-9. All of this comes just weeks after Oklahoma City gained national — and international — prominence with an NBA playoffs first-round series between the Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers. And just as there’s a promise of bigger things for the Thunder, the NBA’s youngest team led by Kevin Durant — the youngest scoring champion in league history — the same can be said for Oklahoma City and big collegiate events. The Oklahoma City All Sports Association has put in bids for the NCAA championships in rowing (2013), volleyball (2013 and 2014) and wrestling (2013 and 2014).