Should the WCWS Rotate Sites? Just a Minute

The Women's College World Series has been held in Oklahoma City every season since 1997.
Fans watch of the Women's College World Series game between the Alabama and Duke at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, Friday, May, 31, 2024.
Fans watch of the Women's College World Series game between the Alabama and Duke at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, Friday, May, 31, 2024. / SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY

Welcome to BamaCentral’s "Just a Minute," a video series featuring BamaCentral's Alabama beat writers. Multiple times a week, the writers will group up to provide their take on a topic concerning the Crimson Tide or the landscape of college sports.

Watch the below YouTube video as BamaCentral staff writers Blake Byler and Katie Windham discuss whether or not the Women's College World Series should rotate locations, or continue being played in Oklahoma City each season?

The Women's College World Series began in 1982 and was played in Omaha, Nebraska the first several years before moving to Sunnyvale, California for two seasons. It was first played in Oklahoma City in 1990 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, and has been there every year since except for 1996, when it was played in Columbus, Georgia.

Now known as Devon Park, the stadium in Oklahoma City specifically designed and set up for softball, can seat up to 13,000 fans. There are no other comparable softball-only stadiums with that large of a capacity anywhere else in the country.

The men's College World Series also does not rotate championship locations as it is played in Omaha, Nebraska each season. Women's gymnastics used to move sites, but has been held at Dickie's Arena in Fort Worth, Texas since 2019. But in other NCAA sports like football, basketball, soccer, volleyball and golf, the championship spot switches from year to year, allowing fans in different parts of the country better access to watch their favorite sport or team in person.

In order for softball to even consider moving to new cities or states, bigger softball stadiums would have to be built in those locations. Fan support is available in other locations. For example, at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, over 10,000 fans filled the Hoover Met for the gold-medal softball game between USA and Japan. The Hoover Met field can be converted for softball, but it is not specifically fitted for the sport.

Should the NCAA look into expanding locations for the biggest stage in college softball? Would other cities be willing to invest in the sport?


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Katie Windham

KATIE WINDHAM

Katie Windham is the assistant editor for BamaCentral, primarily covering football, basketball gymnastics and softball. She is a two-time graduate of the University of Alabama and has covered a variety of Crimson Tide athletics since 2019 for outlets like The Tuscaloosa News, The Crimson White and the Associated Press before joining BamaCentral full time in 2021. Windham has covered College Football Playoff games, the Women's College World Series, NCAA March Madness, SEC Tournaments and championships in multiple sports.