NAIA moving football championship out of Rome, Ga.ROME, Ga. — The NAIA and sports officials in Rome have agreed to contract changes, paving the way for the league's national championship football game to be moved out of the northwest Georgia city.
ROME, Ga. — The NAIA and sports officials in Rome have agreed to contract changes, paving the way for the league's national championship football game to be moved out of the northwest Georgia city.
Rome has been the site of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Football National Championship since 2008, and there were plans to continue holding the game there through 2015.
The NAIA sought to end the agreement after the 2013 game, the Rome News Tribune reported.
When Rome officials first bid on the chance to have the game in Rome, Shorter University and Berry College were members of the NAIA.
“Since that time, both Shorter and Berry have moved into the NCAA, and the NAIA has expressed an interest in moving the game to an NAIA site,” said Bob Berry, the Rome Host Committee co-chairman. “While we were disappointed in that decision, we certainly understand their point of view and have agreed to the change in contract terms.”
After Rome officials agreed to modify the contract, the NAIA will now seek bids from other communities to host the 2014 and 2015 games.
Over the past four years, the championship game has generated more than $6 million in economic impact for the Greater Rome community, Berry said. It's estimated that another $3.5 million will be generated over the next two years, resulting in a total financial boost of almost $10 million.
Dickinson State is a member of the NAIA. Carroll College of Helena, Mont., has played in the national title game in Rome in three of the last four years, winning in 2010.