For the first time in 11 years, US Quidditch Cup is leaving the east. USQ’s signature event has spanned from Vermont to Florida, with short stays in New York and South Carolina, but now it is heading west to Texas, home of four of the last five championship winners. The tournament will be held in April 2018 in either Round Rock or Lubbock, Texas. USQ also announced the finalists for each of its regional championships, but is in the process of soliciting additional bids for some of those tournaments. We previously took an in-depth look into the bidding process.
This year’s US Quidditch Cup will mark the third major quidditch event in Texas with the 2016 and 2017 Major League Quidditch Championships taking place in League City, a suburb of Houston.
Round Rock, the self-proclaimed sports capital of Texas, is a northern suburb of the state’s capital of Austin, which is home to defending champions Texas Cavalry, three-time champions Texas Quidditch as well as Austin Quidditch, and perennial powerhouse Lone Star Quidditch Club. Within a two hour drive from Round Rock there are more than 10 quidditch teams. The city boasts a population of over 100,000 and AAA baseball team the Round Rock Express. The city is approximately a 30 minute drive from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport which is served by Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines among others and is approximately two hours from San Antonio and three hours from both Dallas and Houston. In April, the average high temperature is 79 degrees and the average low is 55 degrees. The tournament would be hosted in the not yet completed Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, which features four natural grass multipurpose fields, four turf multipurpose, and a grass and turf championship field. The city’s bid was supported by letters of nominations from local teams and fostered by an existing relationship that Joe Pickett, USQ’s location coordinator has with the Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Lubbock, in the northwestern part of the state, has a population nearly twice that of Round Rock and is home to Texas Tech University. The city is served by Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport with flights to Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Austin, Denver, and Phoenix. The city is approximately a five hour drive from Austin, Dallas or Oklahoma City. One official team, Texas Tech is located in Lubbock. The average high in April is 75 degrees and the average low is 46 degrees. The tournament would be hosted in the Berl Huffman Athletic Complex located near the airport.
“Besides the location, we were impressed with the bids from both cities, including the amount of financial support (both cash and in-kind), the quality of the facilities, and the level of community support,” said USQ Events Director Mary Kimball.
The sole finalist at this time for the Great Lakes Regional Championship is Dayton, Ohio which hosted last year’s regional tournament.
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship has two finalists: Henrico County, Virginia, which hosted the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship and Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Henrico County contains the state’s capital, Richmond, Virginia, which is home to three teams. Monroeville is an eastern suburb of Pittsburgh, which is home to two teams.
The Midwest Regional Championship has two finalists: Ames, Iowa and Madison, Wisconsin. Ames, home to Iowa State University, does not have a USQ official team. The city hosted last year’s regional championship. Madison is the home of Wisconsin Quidditch.
The sole finalist at this time for the Northeast Regional Championship is Rochester, New York, which has hosted every Northeast Regional Championship since 2013. Rochester is home to three USQ official teams.
The sole finalist at this time for the Northwest Regional Championship is Kennewick, Washington, which hosted last year’s regional championship.
The South Regional Championship has two finalists: Polk County, Florida and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Polk County hosted the 2016 South Regional Championship and is Southwest of Orlando, close to Kissimmee, Florida which hosted US Quidditch Cup 10. The Nearly Headless Knights are located in nearby Orlando. Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama. There are currently no quidditch teams in the state of Alabama.
The Southwest Regional Championship has two finalists: Round Rock, and Wichita Falls, Texas, in the northwestern part of the state, close to the border with Oklahoma. The closest quidditch team to Wichita Falls is the Firebolts in Denton, just short of two hours away.
The West Regional Championship has two finalists: Placer Valley, California which hosted the 2015 West Regional Championship and Tri-Valley, California. Placer Valley is a suburb of Sacramento, the state’s capital. Tri-Valley is a suburb of San Francisco located Southeast of Oakland.