If you didn’t see my story on the Class 6A and 5A wrestling tournaments moving from Intrust Bank Arena to Hartman Arena for 2011, you can see it here.
This got me thinking, what are the best venues for state high school championships and what are the worst? I’m excited about Class 6A basketball being at Koch Arena, but I sure loved it at Emporia’s White Auditorium.
In 2011, state basketball will be 6A at Koch, 5A at the Expocentre in Topeka (really, a terrible venue, too big, not that nice), 4A at the Bicentennial Center (I’ve never been to state there, but I’ve heard horror stories of not being able to bring in baby formula! or even someone couldn’t bring in gum — weird), 3A at Hutchinson (an old venue, but I really like it), 2A at Manhattan (probably too big, but nice), 1A Division I and 1A Division II will be at Fort Hays State and White Auditorium. (I’m a big fan of Hays’ Gross Memorial Coliseum because 1A fans ALWAYS pack the house.)
In football, there is definitely a contingent who want the games played all at one site. I can understand that. I know there’s a segment, though, that is there just to see their team play and then leave, so it’s much easier when it’s at its own site.
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I don’t like having those games at large stadiums, such as KU, K-State or Wichita State (although I understand how cool it would be to play at KU or K-State as a high school player), simply because the atmosphere is just awful. Those stadiums are huge and you’re lucky to get more than 8,000 there.
Hutch is an excellent venue. So is Emporia State. I hear Hummer is awfully nice, too.
For track, I can’t see moving it from Wichita. I wish the accomodations were a little better, and not just because the elevator broke AGAIN this spring and all the press had to walk up and down the stairs just to get to our computers. (I’d love a tent on the infield where we could set up computers. That would be excellent. Then I can see the action and report with greater ease on all those fine athletes.)
For softball, I believe you should have two fields. I don’t care where it is. I like the idea of playing them at KU, though. Or WSU has excellent facilities, too.
What are your thoughts?