Topeka, Kan.  - Washburn University Athletics is putting up big numbers in 2024 that have nothing to do with a scoreboard. The Ichabods are hosting a record number of athletes, coaches and fans from around the country thanks, in large part, to new or improved facilities. These large athletic events are drawing more competition to campus and more business to Topeka.

    “Washburn is extremely grateful to our business partners who welcome these visitors to their hotels, restaurants and event spaces,” said Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek, president, Washburn. “Our facilities are among the best of all Division II universities in the country, which is a testament to the vision and leadership of Washburn’s board of regents.”

    The biggest draw so far this year has been the Washburn Indoor Athletic Facility which opened in the 2020-2021 season and features a banked track, one of only two such facilities in NCAA Division II. Since that first season, the number of competitors has more than doubled. Through the end of this month, it will have hosted eight indoor track events and nearly 6,500 athletes. Add coaches, family and fans, Washburn estimates an additional 10,000 visitors who spend two to three nights in the city. And that’s just track and field competitions.

    “This weekend, our university campus will be packed with people. In addition to hosting the MIAA Track and Field Championships, Washburn is hosting a softball tournament with 19 teams (approximately 525 athletes, coaches and staff), three baseball games and home basketball games for our men’s and women’s teams,” said Loren Ferre, director, Washburn Athletics. “Washburn is proud to share our community with these visitors, who appreciate the many amenities and variety of businesses it has to offer.”

    Washburn is proud to be home of the 2021 Division II Softball Field of the Year and recently added a new softball locker room. Plans also are in the works for the renovation and modernization of the Washburn Arena Event Center which hosts basketball and volleyball games along with graduation celebrations.  Generous donors provide gifts for these projects to help them come to fruition.

    “It is important for Washburn to be part of ongoing efforts to create new and exciting events that bring visitors to Topeka. By sharing our community with others, we provide an opportunity to showcase what we already know – our home is a special place with amazing people – and demonstrates Washburn’s values of creating positive impact,” Mazachek said.


2023-24 WU Indoor Athletic Facility

Event                        Teams         Athletes   Entries

WU Alumni Invite           26                424             711

*Be Your Best #1           12                222             483

*Be Your Best #2           24                408             922

Rust Buster                    54              1056          1789

WU Open                      106              1562          2590

Ichabod Invite                86               1357          2251

*Be Your Best #3            44                967          2093

MIAA Championships     12                500            700

TOTALS                         364             6496       11,539

For further information, contact:
Lori Hutchinson
Exec. Dir. of Strategic Marketing & Communications
Office: (785) 670.1711
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