The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted Thursday to approve the Executive Director to complete contracts for the 2019 baseball state tournament and the 2019 football state championships. The baseball state tournament will move to Akron, while the football championships will stay in Canton.
The board’s vote was unanimous at 8-0 on both issues, with one member absent.
The baseball state tournament will be held at Canal Park in Akron, home of the Akron RubberDucks, the Double A minor league affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The baseball state tournament has been held at Huntington Park in Columbus, home of the Clippers, the Triple A affiliate of the Indians, since the stadium opened in 2009, but the Clippers have home games scheduled during the 2019 OHSAA baseball state tournament.
“The Clippers and Huntington Park have been great hosts, but our baseball season is a week later now and it conflicts with the Clippers’ 2019 home schedule,” said Jerry Snodgrass, OHSAA Executive Director. “We looked at many sites, but for several reasons, including similar schedule conflicts at other locations, we believe that Canal Park is the best choice.”
The 2019 football finals will remain in Canton at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Canton hosted the championships in 2017 and 2018 after the finals were held at Ohio Stadium in Columbus in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“We have a great site in Canton for the football finals and we are pleased to return there in December,” Snodgrass said. “We will continue to talk with Ohio State and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission about hosting in the future, but we wanted to make a decision this winter regarding 2019 and we would need more time to come to an agreement with Columbus. In Stark County, we have great hosts with Visit Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame and we are fortunate to stay there another year.”
The football finals were held in Stark County from 1990 through 2013 after being held at Ohio Stadium in Columbus throughout the 1980s.