High School Basketball Championships will Remain at Dayton for 3 Seasons

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A year of upheaval in 2020-21 has led to the extension of a temporary change in location for the boys and girls high school basketball state championships.

The OHSAA announced Monday that the state championships will be played at the University of Dayton Arena for the 2021-2022, 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 seasons. State tournaments were held at UD Arena in March of this year after the OHSAA was unable to play in Columbus.

“We are very excited that our student-athletes will get to play at University of Dayton Arena,” OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute said in a press release. “Even with the pandemic limiting what all could take place at the state tournaments last March, our schools still had a great experience at UD Arena, and UD made it very clear that they wanted to host both the girls and boys state tournaments moving forward. We know that the support for basketball in southwestern Ohio is very strong and UD wants to be the home of the state tournaments.”

The tournaments have historically taken place on Ohio State University’s basketball court. The OHSAA was unable to play the boys state tournament in at OSU’s St. John’s Arena due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The OHSAA had already reached an agreement with UD to host the girls basketball tournaments from 2021 through 2023. According to the OHSAA, the new deal for the boys and girls championships will supersede the previous agreement. Ohio’s prep sports governing body’s deal with St. John’s Arena expired at the end of the 2019-2020 season.

“We are very excited to host the state tournaments at UD Arena,” Dayton athletic director Scott DeBolt said in the release. “In addition to our love of the Dayton Flyers, we are so proud to host many great events here, including the NCAA First Four, and we are pleased and grateful to welcome the OHSAA girls and boys basketball state tournaments to UD Arena. Our community will support the state tournaments just like our other events and this will be a special place for the teams, schools and communities that reach the state tournaments.”

The girls basketball tournament was held at Ohio State almost every year since the inaugural tournament in 1976. The only exception was 1986 when it took place at the University of Akron. The boys basketball state championship was held at OSU throughout most of its entirety as well, with the 1985-1986 and 1986-1987 seasons being the outliers, when it was held at Dayton.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.