Division II national championship returns to McKinney for next three years

For the second straight season, every sub-FBS national championship will go through the state of Texas.

The Division II national championship game is returning to McKinney Independent School District Stadium in McKinney from 2019 to 2021.

Valdosta State edged Ferris State 49-47 after stopping a last-minute two-point conversion to win the national championship in McKinney a season ago. More than 4,300 fans were on hand to see the thrilling matchup.

The NCAA was extremely complimentary of McKinney’s efforts in 2018 after earning the bid just two months before the game. Playing surface issues forced the committee to move the Division II national championship from Kansas City with only months to spare.

“The Lone Star Conference and the city of McKinney performed in an outstanding fashion in hosting the 2018 championship despite having a short window of time for preparation,” said Reid Amos, chair of the NCAA Division II Football Committee. “Combine that local effort with such an outstanding facility and it was an easy decision for the committee to make regarding future championships.”

MISD Stadium is one of the grandest stadiums in all of high school sports. The district spent $70 million to build the stadium, which ranks second in the state. Its 12,000-fan capacity is best overall in the state, and competitive with many small college stadiums. For comparison, six FBS programs did not average 12,000 fans a game in 2017.

For the second year in a row, all of the sub-FBS national championship games will take place in Texas. The FCS national championship has taken place at Toyota Stadium in Frisco every year since 2010. The Division III Stagg Bowl was held at Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah last season, and will return once again in 2019.

The Stagg Bowl featured a Texas team winning an NCAA national championship on Texas soil for the first time in nearly four decades, as Mary Hardin-Baylor edged Mount Union in the title game. That had not happened since Southwest Texas State won its second title at Veterans Memorial Stadium in McAllen in 1982.

Tarleton State, Texas A&M-Commerce and MSU Texas all finished ranked in the final AFCA top 25. Each should have a chance to compete for a spot in the NCAA tournament and reach the title game. Texas A&M-Commerce captured the crown in 2017.

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