Topeka Several lawmakers Wednesday tried to blitz the Kansas State High School Activities Association with legislation aimed at holding high school championship football games at Kansas University and Kansas State University.
"We are trying to send a message," said Rep. Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe. "You have the ability to create a wonderful lifetime experience for young people. This may be the highlight of their life."
But the KSHSAA said the bill represented unnecessary interference.
"We don't feel like the Legislature needs to be involved in helping us decide where our post-season games should be," said Rick Bowden, assistant executive director of KSHSAA.
House Bill 2801 would allow KSHSAA to use KU Memorial Stadium and K-State's Bill Snyder Family Stadium for state championships. The bill received preliminary approval 58-53, but its chances of final passage appeared iffy.
Bowden said KSHSAA already has the option of negotiating with KU and K-State, but several lawmakers were critical of KSHSAA for not using it.
The last state championship football games played at KU's Memorial Stadium were in 2003. Manhattan's most recent was in 1997.
Bowden said it's less expensive and more convenient to play all championship games at 1 p.m. on the Saturday after Thanksgiving at smaller venues across the state.
He said it used to be when two or three championship games were played on the same day at KU or K-State, students and families had to pay for lodging because of the early and late kickoff times.
Using large stadiums also costs more, he said, and when the crowd is no larger than 7,000, the atmosphere is diluted in a 50,000 seat stadium.