Starting 2019 the Division III Baseball Championship will have a new home, as it is set to leave Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
The home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low A; Midwest League) has hosted the championship since 2000. Organizers finalized an agreement to extend the championship’s stay at Neuroscience Group Field in 2013, coming to terms on a deal that allowed the event to remain in Appleton through 2018.
With that pact coming close to its conclusion, organizers now have to find a home for the championship. Scheduling changes that will take effect starting in 2019 will force the championship to shift back to the beginning of June. Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium already had events lined up around that period, making it tough to accommodate the championship. More from The Advance-Titan:
UWO Sports Information Director Kennan Timm said they expect it to mirror that of the DI and DII Championships, which would force the Timber Rattlers to be on the road for an extended period of time.
“The NCAA Division III Baseball Committee voted and it was approved to have regionals and super regionals beginning in 2019,” Timm said. “With the championship moving off of Memorial Day Weekend, we went to the Timber Rattlers and the new schedule fell too close to the [Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association] State Baseball Tournament, the Jordy Nelson Softball Classic and other previously scheduled events. With that, scheduling the [Timber Rattlers] would be gone for a few weeks. With no facility, we couldn’t host, and that’s what it came down to.”
The championship dates normally run five-to-six days at the end of May during Memorial Day weekend. The NCAA changed the dates for the 2019 championship, pushing it back into the first week of June, which will prohibit Fox Cities Stadium from being able to host.
“We had a local organizing committee meeting and talked for length about the situation and the upcoming bid process,” Timm said. “In the end, we decided that we couldn’t bid for the hosting rights of the championship for 2019-23.”
Over its years in Appleton, the Division III Baseballl Championship has been organized by a partnership that included the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Lawrence University, and the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau. Its new home it set to be announced in December.