MSHSAA Baseball Returning to Southwest Missouri
The Missouri State High School Activities Association State Baseball Championships will have a new home starting in 2021.
The MSHSAA board of directors designated U.S. Baseball Park as the State Baseball Championships venue from 2021 through 2025.
The stadium in Ozark was selected in a competitive bid process over other strong venues from throughout Missouri, said Lance Kettering, executive director of the Springfield Sports Commission, which assisted in the bid with U.S. Baseball Park.
“The Sports Commission was honored to partner with U.S. Baseball Park in submitting the bid to host the MSHSAA State Baseball Championships,” said Kettering. “The winning bid is a testament to Coach Mark Stratton, and the entire crew at U.S. Baseball Park. We are thrilled for the opportunity to work with Coach Stratton to bring the state Baseball Championships back to our region and add to our list of outstanding events hosted in our region.”
Stratton, general manager of U.S. Baseball Park, has been instrumental in bringing quality events to the region and the all-turf complex in Ozark.
“Bringing the MSHSAA State Baseball Championships back to our region will no doubt be well received,” said Stratton, U.S. Baseball Park general manager. “We are very pleased and appreciative of the support of the U.S. Baseball Park management team and their commitment to bring this prestigious event to southwest Missouri.”
“Receiving this bid represents three things. First, it lines up with our continued goal and commitment to bring quality baseball to southwest Missouri. Secondly, it is a reflection and acknowledgment of our commitment to high school and amateur baseball and thirdly, it showcases the strength of regional partnerships. It is our privilege to continue to work with Lance Kettering, executive director of the Springfield Sports Commission to bring sporting events to the region for the benefit of our communities. We are excited to welcome families and athletes from all over Missouri to the gates of U.S. Baseball Park.”
The MSHSAA State Baseball Championships were previously held in Springfield at Meador Park from 1968-71, 1973, 1975 and 2007-2012.
“We are excited to partner with U.S. Baseball Park and general manager Mark Stratton, the Springfield Sports Commission and the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau. U.S. Baseball Park is a beautiful facility and will afford our students and communities a great baseball experience,” said Dr. Kerwin Urhahn, executive director at MSHSAA.
All five classes will compete in the MSHSAA State Baseball Championships at U.S. Baseball Park as follows. Paid attendance for the championships over the past five years has averaged 8,349 each year.
- May 31-June 5, 2021
- May 30-June 4, 2022
- May 29-June 3, 2023
- May 27-June 1, 2024
- June 2-June 7, 2025
U.S. Baseball Park, a 501© 3 entity, is a 4,000 plus-seat stadium in Ozark. U.S. Baseball Park features a turf playing surface and also features a state-of-the-art video board. U.S. Baseball Park is also home to Drury University Baseball, Show-Me Collegiate League, Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament, and Heart of America Conference Tournament. U.S. Baseball Park hosts over 200 events annually including the Premier Baseball Incoming Freshman Championship, a Sports Commission event held in the Springfield region since 2012 and is also involved in grassroots efforts to grow baseball through the Monday Mini’s tee ball and coach pitch programming.
The Springfield Sports Commission is a 501© 6 non-profit organization whose mission is to create economic impact for the Springfield area through sports travel and tourism. A small sample of events the Sports Commission has helped land recently for the Springfield area includes MSHSAA State Basketball Championships 2018-2022, National Christian HomeSchool Basketball Championships 2009-2002 and the NAIA Softball World Series 2019 and 2020.
MSHSAA is the governing body for high school activities in Missouri. About 580 high schools are members of MSHSAA, which conducts championship-level activities in 23 activities.