YUMA, Ariz. – Arizona Western College and the City of Yuma will host the NJCAA Division I Softball Championship in Yuma, Arizona in May of 2021 and May of 2022, the NJCAA announced on Friday.
The joint bid will bring 16 teams from across the country, including a district representative from Arizona, to the state-of-the-art Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex for games to be played May 26-29 in 2021 and May 25-28 in 2022.
“This is a tremendous honor for Arizona Western,” Athletic Director Jerry Smith says. “We are excited to partner with the city and showcase Yuma to the entire country.”
The national championship tournament will lean on the collaborative event planning that brought the El Toro Bowl to Yuma and annually creates the Great Western Shootout-Softball Tournament, while partnering with the expertise of city officials, the tremendous City of Yuma Parks and Recreation department, and other city staff, as well as many other community partners.
Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls has also been an influential voice in displaying Yuma’s hospitality and desire to host the NJCAA for the Softball National Championship.
“We are excited to team up with AWC to host the NJCAA national softball championship at the Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex. This first national championship event in the PAAC will build upon the sports tourism history of Yuma,” said Mayor Douglas Nicholls. “AWC, the Caballeros, Visit Yuma, and the Airport are great partners and will provide Yuma’s robust hospitality for visiting teams, residents and guests alike.”
“Quality facilities like the PAAC enable Yuma to attract national and regional events,” said City Administrator Philip Rodriguez. “Athletic tournaments generate direct local spending, which supports our hotels, restaurants and other businesses. This is a great win for the community.”
“We have gotten tremendous feedback from the national amateur softball tournaments we’ve held here in the past, and this event raises the bar,” said Deputy City Administrator Jay Simonton, the interim director of Parks and Recreation. “A whole other group of players, fans and softball enthusiasts will get to experience our state-of-the-art softball complex.”
AWC President Daniel Corr and the college cabinet team have expressed their dedication to the event along with offering the support of various departments across the district to make the event a success.
The Caballeros de Yuma will provide a welcome BBQ to the players and coaches prior to a home run derby competition featuring one player from each of the 16 participating teams.
Visit Yuma is also partnering up to help teams, fans, and visitors to experience all that Yuma has to offer during their trip with sightseeing tips and welcome bags, along with lodging assistance.
Teams will have the accessibility to fly directly into Yuma International Airport located just four miles away from the Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex and numerous city fields will be made available for practice.
The overall event is expected to bring hundreds of visitors to Yuma in May of 2021 and 2022.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma.