KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced that the 2017 and 2018 NAIA Football National Championship will be hosted by the City of Daytona Beach in Daytona Beach, Fla. The first of the two title contests will be played on December 16, 2017, with the 2018 game taking place on either December 14, 15, or 16, 2018.
"We are excited to continue our partnership with the City of Daytona Beach," said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. "We are confident that the City of Daytona Beach will continue to provide a tremendous event and an outstanding experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans as they have in the past."
Since the 2014 season, the national championship has had a home at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium. Previously, the state of Florida held the football national championship from 1957 – 1960 in St. Petersburg. Since 1960, the championship has been held in 19 different states.
"We are so proud to continue to host the NAIA here in the City of Daytona Beach," said Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick L. Henry. "Hosting the National Football Championship has been a great experience for both of us. Activities during the NAIA Championship week have provided college scholarships to local high school seniors, a pre-game combine to our local scholar-athletes and school visits and mentoring to our young students. We look forward to hosting the NAIA student-athletes, coaches and fans in December."
The NAIA has sponsored football since 1956, when its inaugural championship was held in Little Rock, Ark. Saint Francis (Ind.) won the 2016 National Championship with a 38-17 victory over Baker (Kan.) at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach, Fla. Currently, 86 institutions sponsor the sport of football. For a complete list of participating schools, click here.
Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience. In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose to enhance the character-building aspects of sport. Through the Champions of Character program, the NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
For more on NAIA Football, click here.