All Sports Association trying to attract college championships to Oklahoma City

FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: May 22, 2010 at 12:14 am •  Published: May 22, 2010
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photo - The American Collegiate Rowing Association Championships begin today on the Oklahoma River. OKLAHOMAN FILE PHOTO
The American Collegiate Rowing Association Championships begin today on the Oklahoma River. OKLAHOMAN FILE PHOTO
Th
e 2006 NCAA Wrestling Championships were held at the Ford Center. Having rowing and volleyball championships here would be a first. They would also be a natural, especially rowing, according to Tim Brassfield, executive director of the All Sports Association.

"It’s a step we wanted to take to make sure this facility in OKC is recognized worldwide,” Brassfield said. "It only makes sense that we bring the NCAA’s elite championship here if possible.”

The NCAA rowing championship the All Sports Association has bid on differs from this weekend’s ARCA event. The NCAA only governs women’s varsity rowing, so the ACRA Championships offer men’s teams and non-varsity teams the opportunity to compete for titles.

Mike Knopp, who is the executive director of the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation and the coach of the Oklahoma City University rowing teams, said this weekend’s event is a great showcase for the river and the city.

"This is a national championship event for collegiate rowing. Anytime you have that distinction, it’s a prestigious event for Oklahoma City,” Knopp said.

"To be home to a national championship is a statement to the quality of the venue that we have. It’s also a huge economic development engine that we obviously didn’t have before when the river was a ditch.”