The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that it is moving the state football championships from Ohio Stadium and will instead play them in Canton for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
The championships were played on the home field of the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus from 2014-16. The OHSAA Board of Directors approved the move by a vote of 9-0. The full release can be seen in the tweet below.
Ohio’s high school state championship football games leaving Columbus and moving back to Canton again. pic.twitter.com/uzfqVPMxH8
— Kevin Noon (@Kevin_Noon) January 19, 2017
All seven state championship games will be held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, which sits adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“We had great hosts in Stark County before, and I know we will again,” Dr. Dan Ross, OHSAA Commissioner, said in the statement. “We are blessed in Ohio to have so many outstanding playoff venues like Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton and Ohio Stadium here in Columbus, and our intent all along has been to rotate the finals between the two sites. The last three years in Columbus have been great, and the timing worked out well because Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame had major stadium renovations underway at the same time.”
Ohio held its state championships in Stark County for 24 consecutive years (1990-2013) before the move to Ohio Stadium. Previously, games were held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, formerly called Fawcett Stadium, and Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon.