“We’re definitely looking for a great experience for student athletes,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute, “and this arena is fantastic – a basketball arena, to say the least. . We have had a lot of feedback from 24 communities, 24 schools who have had this experience here this year.To explorePHOTOS: Centerville wins state championship at UD Arena
Until March, the Boys and Girls State Championships had been held at the Schottenstein Center in Ohio for years. The boys’ tournament was scheduled to move to St. John Arena in March, but was not available due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ute said the OHSAA has had discussions with the State of Ohio about continuing the boys’ tournament in Columbus.
“Our philosophy is that we will listen to anyone at all times,” Ute said. “We owe it to all of our people in the state of Ohio.”
Ute said planning was a problem because the girls’ basketball and wrestling tournaments will be held on the same weekend for years to come. In recent years, they have both taken place at the Schottenstein Center.
While most of the OHSAA State Championships have been located in downtown Columbus over the years, there are exceptions. The National Swimming Championships have been held in Canton for years. The soccer championships have been held in Canton and Akron, for the most part, throughout the history of the OHSAA. The state softball tournament is held in Akron.
Although Ute said a central location was optimal, he said UD Arena “is the best affordable facility.”
Keeping tournaments in Dayton also means a lot to the city.
“A glance at this arena tells you that it is for hosting exceptional events,” said Jacquelyn Powell, President and CEO of the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau. “I was fortunate enough to attend the women’s basketball event in March and was really impressed. During this time of COVID, what a great job the arena has been doing. It was as full as it could get, and there was excitement. We are going to have even more as we look forward to the next three years by hosting this wonderful event.