As Joel Warner reports in this week's cover story, Denver has become a lacrosse hotbed for reasons ranging from the growing reputation of DU's squad, coached by six-time national champ Bill Tierney, to the rise of City Lax, the city's first and only youth lacrosse program.
Apparently, the folks at the Federation of International Lacrosse noticed, too -- because they've just named Denver as the site for the 2014 FIL Men's World Championship.
It'll take place that July at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Don't want to say we told you so -- but we told you so.
Get the details in the FIL release below:
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The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) has announced that the United States will be the host country of the 2014 FIL Men's World Championship in Denver, Colorado. US Lacrosse will host the quadrennial event with local support from the Denver Sports Commission and Denver lacrosse community. The championship games will be held at Dick's Sporting Goods Park from July 10 to 19, 2014. As many as 38 countries are expected to compete.
"US Lacrosse is looking forward to hosting the 2014 World Championship in Denver," said US Lacrosse's President and CEO, Steve Stenersen. "The rapid growth of the sport, especially in the Midwest and West, was a factor in selecting Denver as the host city. There has never been a major international lacrosse competition held away from the East Coast. We felt this was the perfect opportunity to make the best lacrosse in the world easily accessible to the entire country."
In the fall of 2008, US Lacrosse launched a national search by working with the National Association of Sports Commissions. Ten cities applied, three finalists were selected and Denver was identified as the premier site based on several qualifying factors.
"US Lacrosse presented a strong bid to the FIL Board and we were impressed with the homework US Lacrosse had done to select a site in a non-traditional location," said FIL President Feffie Barnhill. "FIL is delighted to award the 2014 Men's World Championship to US Lacrosse and, based on their prior experiences of hosting events, we are confident this event will be a huge success for both the FIL and US Lacrosse. The selection of Denver as the host city will provide the players and officials with a unique experience. The facilities are excellent and there is great support for lacrosse in the area."
Denver's Dick's Sporting Goods Park complex is comprised of the Colorado Rapid's home field inside an 18,500 seat stadium, plus an additional 24 contiguous fields.
"Denver is proud to be selected by US Lacrosse as the host site for the 2014 Lacrosse World Championship. It will be the largest sporting event in terms of teams, athletes and duration that Denver has ever hosted. Our lacrosse fans are among the most passionate in the country and not only will it be a great event for our city but for the entire U.S. lacrosse community," said Denver Sports President KieAnn Brownell.
In addition to the FIL Men's World Championship games and the opening and closing ceremonies, US Lacrosse will host ancillary youth and masters festivals at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The event will also include an International Village consisting of live entertainment, food vendors and a Vendor Village with product retailers.
Nearly 1,000 athletes will compete in the 2014 championship games with over 100,000 spectators expected to attend.
The first time the U.S. hosted the men's World Championship was in 1982 in Baltimore, Md. where the U.S. beat Australia for the gold by a score of 22-14. The U.S. hosted the event again in 1998 in Baltimore, Md. where the U.S. beat Canada in overtime, 15-14. The U.S. has captured eight World Championships and finished second twice, including the most recent event in 2006.
Prior to losing to Canada in the 2006 championship game, the Americans had not lost a game since the 1978 final, a 17-16 overtime setback to Canada. The winning streak spanned 38 games through seven World Championships.
America has also hosted two women's World Cups (1986 in Philadelphia, Pa. and 2005 in Annapolis, Md.), two U19 men's World Championships (1992 in Long Island, N.Y. and 2003 in Baltimore, Md.), and two U19 women's World Championships (1995 in Haverford, Pa. and 2003 in Baltimore, Md.).
About US Lacrosse US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body for men's and women's lacrosse. US Lacrosse has more than 300,000 members in 63 regional chapters around the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse strives to provide programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the game. To learn more about US Lacrosse, please visit www.uslacrosse.org.
About the Federation of International Lacrosse The Federation of International Lacrosse, shortened to FIL, was established in August 2008 with the merger of both the men's and women's international lacrosse federations. FIL is responsible for the Men's World Lacrosse Championship, World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, Women's Lacrosse World Cup, and both the Men's and Women's Under-19 World Lacrosse Championships. These events are held every four years. To learn more about the FIL, please visit www.filacrosse.com.