The College Cup is coming to Santa Barbara in 2010.
It is the “Final Four” of NCAA men’s soccer and, for the first time since 2004, it will take place on the west coast. UCSB will play host to the final three games of the 2010 NCAA tournament, with all the matches being carried out at Harder Stadium.
The UCSB Athletic Dept. launched the “Soccer Town, USA” campaign earlier this year under the guidance of first-year Athletic Director Mark Massari. The operation strived to give Santa Barbara the chance to host its first NCAA championship in over 30 years, as well as reward the committed fan base that UCSB soccer maintains.
For the last two years, Harder Stadium and UCSB have led the country in attendance, despite the team playing nearly half its games before school is even in session due to the quarter system – a detriment most universities do not have. With crowds of 8,000 and more becoming commonplace in a sport where average attendance is in the hundreds, Santa Barbara’s soccer credentials impressed the NCAA enough to earn hosting rights.
The only question now is if Santa Barbara’s notoriously crazy fan base will show up in droves for the event, even if the team cannot make it.