(Renton, WA) The WIAA clarified the current process of determining the location for the State Football Finals. The Tacoma Dome has increased their rent for both the Semi-Finals and Finals. The Semi-Finals will not be held in the Tacoma Dome, that decision has already been determined by the WIAA Board. The Semi-Finals will be played at several locations that will have been approved prior to the final four being determined and then based on match-ups the locations will be decided. No team will be allowed to play on their home field.
We reported yesterday that the WIAA was looking to move the Finals to another location at a lower cost and was waiting on a bid from the University of Washington for Husky Stadium. Today the WIAA clarified that their first choice remains the Tacoma Dome but if another venue such as Husky Stadium comes in at a lower cost they will have to consider it. It appears these are the two choices and would be unlikely to see the Finals played at Regional locations like the Semi-Finals.
Century Link Field remains a non-player due to the price and they can not guarantee the dates due to NFL and MLS schedules. Husky Stadium remains an option for the finals because for the next 6 years with the Apple Cup on the weekend after Thanksgiving the Stadium is available for the High School Finals on the first weekend in December. The WIAA Board is set to make a final decision by the end of the month.
(Renton, WA) The Tacoma Dome has been home to the State Football Finals and many Semi-Final games since the early 90’s after moving from the Kingdome but no longer at least for Semi-Finals. WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese says the Semi-Finals will now be played at designated sites throughout Western Washington at regional complexes or high schools. The Finals may still be in the Woodshed but the WIAA is negotiating with Husky Stadium as their new Finals home.
Colbrese says it came down to finances and a huge increase in rent for the football games. State Wrestling and Basketball will not leave the Tacoma Dome as those events are less costly. Colbrese says the big difference is laying the turf for the football games and the amount of required security. If the WIAA can not come to an agreement with Husky Stadium then they will be forced to pay the price at the Tacoma Dome.
Colbrese says the only way to cover the increased cost was to raise ticket prices and he says the executive board did not want to go that route. Eastside schools have also been concerned for several years about a potential advantage to those teams who get to play in the Tacoma Dome in the Semi-Final round while their schools are still playing outside in rain, snow and certainly cooler temperatures.
The WIAA also announced there will not be an Emerald City Kick-off Classic this coming season. The ECKC has been played the opening Saturday of Football season with 4 games beginning at 10am. The ECKC was played at Husky Stadium this past season but the Dawgs have a home game on this date next September. The event could return the following year. Century Link field where the Seahawks play is not available for any of these events because between the Seahawks and Sounders they can not guarantee the dates especially since both sports release their schedules at different times of the year.
Locations for the Westside Semi-Finals will be chosen ahead of time and then finalized when the teams qualify for the final 4. Teams will not be able to play on their home turf and Colbrese says they will try to play at least double headers at the locations and possibly triple headers which is what the Eastern Washington schools already do.