By Josh Brown
Miami Valley Today
COLUMBUS — This year’s state girls basketball tournament may have been cut short before it got started.
But next year’s is already on the move, in a manner of speaking.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday the state girls basketball tournament would be moving to the University of Dayton Arena for the next three years beginning with the 2020-21 season, a newly-renovated facility that has played host to district and regional boys basketball games, as well as the NCAA Tournament.
“We are very excited to sign a three-year agreement for our member schools to experience UD Arena,” OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said. “Southwest Ohio loves and supports basketball, and the people at the University of Dayton have made it clear that they really want this state tournament on their campus. We believe that we have found a great home for the girls basketball state tournament.”
UD Arena has hosted OHSAA boys basketball tournament games for years, along with the Atlantic 10 Conference and 125 NCAA Tournament games, according to the press release. It played host to the NCAA Tournament Opening Round play-in game from 2001-10, and from 2011 to the present it was the host of the First Four, and throughout its history UD Arena has hosted more NCAA Tournament games than any other venue.
The arena, which is the home of the University of Dayton Flyers men’s and women’s basketball teams, was renovated in 2019 and has a seating capacity of 13,000.
“We’re very proud that the OHSAA has entrusted us to host the girls basketball state tournament at the University of Dayton for the next three years,” University of Dayton Senior Associate Athletics Director and Executive Director of UD Arena Scott DeBolt said. “The same ingredients that make UD Arena the ideal place for the NCAA First Four — community support and excitement for the game of basketball, our facilities, staff and tournament hosting experience — will help create lifelong memories for the young women who come to Dayton to play in the state tournament and their school communities.”
Ohio State University has hosted all but one of the 45 years of the OHSAA state girls basketball tournament at either St. John Arena or the Jerome Schottenstein Center, with the University of Akron hosting the tournament once in 1986.
Miami East was he last girls team from Miami County to reach the state tournament, falling in the state semifinals in 1997 and in the state title game in 1999. Bethel’s girls won the state title in 1986 — the year the tournament was held in Akron.
The 2020-21 girls basketball state tournament is scheduled for March 11-13. The boys state tournament is scheduled to take place at St. John Arena March 18-20, with no host site for the boys currently scheduled for the 2021-22 season.
Contact Josh Brown at [email protected].
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