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Boulder Creek to host collegiate championships

Boulder Creek Golf Club has found a place in Clark County history as it was selected to hold three National Collegiate Athletic Association golf championships.

“I’m really excited about it. … It’s a great opportunity for us,” said Andy Schaper, Boulder City’s director of golf operations. “I’m excited about the exposure for our course. I think it’s great for the city.”

Earlier this month, Boulder Creek was selected to host the Division III men’s national golf championship in 2024, the Division II women’s national golf championship in 2025 and the Division II men’s 2026 national championship.

These national championships are the first in the area. All were banned until a Supreme Court decision in 2019 allowed nationwide sports betting. That year, the NCAA also changed its policy and agreed to allow these types of tournaments in Las Vegas and Clark County.

When that happened, Schaper said the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reached out to him to see if he was interested in applying to host some golf tournaments between 2023 and 2026. He said he was and they helped him complete the bid application and submit it in February.

“Boulder Creek is so well-known in golf,” said Lisa Motley, LVCVA director of sports marketing. “Three events being awarded to one venue is almost unheard of.”

For each of the tournaments, there will be several hundred golfers competing, as well as coaches, spectators, school representatives, employees and volunteers in attendance.

“They’ll be here for a week,” Schaper said. “They start with a full field and work until there are just a few teams left. … It’s going to be a lot of work.”

Schaper said he is also excited about the opportunities the community will have during the tournaments.

“We’re going to need a bunch of volunteers,” he said. “I’m excited to get the community involved in this. … We get to show off the golf course and the city.”

LVCVA submitted 98 bids to host NCAA championship events from Division I, II and III, including tennis, golf, soccer, softball, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, hockey, bowling and volleyball. It was awarded nine, including the three at Boulder Creek.

“We were going for broke,” Motley said.

She said after they submitted the bid several people with NCAA did a site visit at Boulder Creek and were impressed with Schaper and his team.

“We are now exposing Boulder Creek to a national audience and a collegiate audience that haven’t seen it before,” she said.

She also said she is hoping the championships will help establish what Boulder City and Las Vegas can do, open up the door for more tournaments in the future and help the economy recover from COVID-19.

“These kinds of events will help … springboard the economy and growth after COVID-19,” she said.

Although the course has never held an NCAA championship before, Schaper said the facility does host six to eight events each year including the University of Nevada, Las Vegas invitational and the Big Sky Championship.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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