COLUMBUS, Ohio – The high school football state championships will remain in Ohio Stadium in Columbus for an additional year, through 2016, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday jointly with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission.
The announcement comes as details are being finalized for the 2015 state championships, which include a public all-session ticket sale date of Monday, Aug. 17 for the seven state championship games (see details below).
The Sports Commission and the Ohio State Athletics Department were awarded a contract to host the football championships in 2014 and 2015, with the OHSAA intending to move the finals in 2016 back to Stark County, which hosted the championships for 24 years (1990-2013). However, the massive renovations underway in Canton at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, formerly Fawcett Stadium, are not expected to be completed until 2017.
“We are very grateful for the cooperation of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission and Ohio State for working with us on this extension,” Dr. Dan Ross, OHSAA Commissioner, said. “We have been in conversation with the folks in Stark County about the timeline for the renovations in Canton. As we have said all along, we are very blessed in Ohio to have some of the best football stadiums in the country and student-athletes will be so proud to say they played for a state title in Ohio Stadium or in Stark County.”
Beyond 2016, details are being discussed as to which venues will host the football state championship games and in which years.
“We are excited to add another year of Ohio’s best high school football teams competing for state titles in Columbus,” said Greater Columbus Sports Commission Executive Director Linda Shetina Logan. “The State Football Finals in 2014 were incredible from an attendance standpoint and the student-athlete and fan experience. We look forward to creating new memories in the Horseshoe in 2015 and 2016.”
The 2015 state championships in Ohio Stadium will be played December 3, 4 and 5.