The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) have announced Springfield will be the host city for the 2018-2022 Boys & Girls State Basketball Championships and 2016 State Football Championships.
“We’re excited about coming down to Springfield,” said Kerwin Urhahn, MSHSAA Executive Director. “It’s a high-school rich environment and southwest Missouri supports high school sports very well. We’re looking forward to having all of our participants experience that excitement and enthusiasm first hand. We also appreciate all the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis has done for us in football and all that Mizzou has done in basketball over the years. We greatly value those partnerships and their support.”
In a competitive bid process, bids were submitted by the Springfield Sports Commission and the Convention & Visitors Bureau with facilities at Missouri State University (MSU) serving as the venues. Supporting entities include the City of Springfield, Greene County, Springfield Hotel Lodging Association, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Elliott Lodging, Hammons Hotels & Resorts, O’Reilly Hospitality Management, Chevy Dealers of the Ozarks, Buffalo Wild Wings with numerous other organizations providing promotional support.
“We’re delighted Springfield was selected,” said Tracy Kimberlin, president/CEO of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, which manages the Springfield Sports Commission. “With the cooperation and partnership of MSU and many other businesses and organizations, we submitted a proposal showing very strong community-wide support for hosting the state championships.”
Craig Long, CFO at MSHSAA, said the organization was impressed by the amount of community support and they’re looking forward to returning to Springfield.
“We’re humbled by the magnitude of community support that was evident in the proposal that came from the Springfield community and we’re excited about the championships being at Missouri State University,” Long said.
The basketball championships will be at JQH Arena and Hammons Student Center and football at Robert W. Plaster Stadium.
“We are very excited after 20-plus years to have the MSHSAA football and basketball championships coming back to Springfield and Missouri State,” said MSU Executive Director of JQH Arena & Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Facilities and Operations Keith Boaz. “We look forward to providing first-rate facilities and making the state championship experience a memorable one for the students and participating schools.”
“Missouri State University is thrilled to be selected as the host site for Missouri’s premier high school state championship events,” said Missouri State Director of Athletics Kyle Moats. “This has certainly a collaborative effort between the City of Springfield, Convention & Visitors Bureau, Springfield Sports Commission and the University, and we are proud these events have finally returned to Springfield and the great facilities on our campus. We look forward to serving as the hosts for high school basketball and football fans across the state.”
During the five years the basketball championships are in Springfield, more than 40,000 people will attend the events each year. Attendance at the football event will be about 25,000 people this fall.
“The Springfield Sports Commission and its board of directors are honored and excited to be the host of the state basketball championships,” said Lance Kettering. “Special recognition goes to the staff at Missouri State University for allowing the opportunity to bid on and ultimately host this event in Springfield. The Sports Commission does not control the athletic venues when we are submitting a bid, it’s paramount for organizations to work together to bring championship-level events to Springfield.”
Columbia hosted State Basketball Championship events for boys from 1973 through 1988 and 1992 to present and for girls from 1980 through 1988 and 1992 to present.
Springfield has hosted the State Basketball Championships at the following venues:
Central High School – 1939, 1943-1945
McDonald Arena – 1941, 1942, 1947-1950, 1956 and 1964
Hammons Student Center – 1983, 1985-1991 (Boys & Girls)
The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis has hosted the football championships since 1996. Springfield last hosted the football event in 1995 at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex at Missouri State University.
Springfield has hosted football at the following venues:
John F. Kennedy Stadium in 1968
Briggs Stadium/Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex 1971 and 1988-1995
MSHSAA is the governing body for high school activities in Missouri with about 580 high schools as members. The organization conducts championship-level activities in 23 activities, including sports and academic events. Learn more at www.MSHSAA.org or call 573-875-4880.
The Springfield Sports Commission extends its gratitude to the more than 100 commission members that help Springfield bid on championship events.
The Springfield Sports Commission and the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau are nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the local economy through growth in travel and tourism. For more information, call 417-881-5300 or visit www.SpringfieldMoSports.org or www.SpringfieldMo.org.