Archive for Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lawmakers want state championships played at universities

March 27, 2008


State leaders want to move HS games to university stadiums

State lawmakers try to blitz Kansas high school officials into returning championship football games to both Lawrence and Manhattan. Enlarge video

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Should the state Legislature get involved in talks to ensure KU and K-State's football stadiums are used to host the Kansas state high school football championships?

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— 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.


grimpeur 10 years, 1 month ago

Also, we wouldn't want to obviate the need for new high school stadia. Got a new school tax, y'know.

As long as the words "stadium" and "athletic fields" keep oozing out the mouths of USD497 officials, I'll be voting no.

thomgreen 10 years, 1 month ago

Could the state reps worry about something a little more important than where the state championship games are being played? I couldn't agree with Mr. Bowden anymore. There is no need for them to legislate where championship games are to be played. Isn't that why we have an association overseeing high school sports?!?!

tolawdjk 10 years, 1 month ago

Sad thing is this doesn't even qualify as a top 5 for "crap the Legislature should keep their damn noses out of this session"

georgeofwesternkansas 10 years, 1 month ago

Translation: KSHSAA says, just shut up and pay the bills, we will tell you if we want anything changed.

missmagoo 10 years, 1 month ago

don't our lawmakers have anything better to do?

it's nice to know where their priorities are...

jayhawkbarrister 10 years, 1 month ago

Hey, I want my legislators debating this kind of frivolous issue. Keeps them for doing damage elsewhere.

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