The 2019 state baseball tournament will be held at Canal Park in Akron and the football championship games will remain at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton for the third consecutive year, the OHSAA announced Feb. 14.
The board of directors approved both in 8-0 votes.
The state baseball tournament has been held at Huntington Park, home of the Columbus Clippers, since the stadium opened in 2009, but the Clippers have home games scheduled during the 2019 event. State baseball is scheduled for June 6-8, which is one week later than in past years.
Canal Park is the home of the Akron RubberDucks, the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
“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,” OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass said in a press release. “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 state football finals were played at Ohio Stadium from 2014-16 before being moved to Canton.
“We have a great site in Canton for the football finals and we’re 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 in Columbus. In Stark County, we have great hosts with Visit Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame and we’re fortunate to stay there another year.”
In other OHSAA news:
•Total attendance for the 2018 football playoffs was 379,587, which is the lowest since the playoffs were expanded to five rounds in 1999.
•Attendance for the girls volleyball regional and state tournaments was 39,517 in 2018, which was the highest for that event in the last five years.
•Attendance at the 2018 cross country state meet was 9,062 compared to 12,054 in 2017. The finals were delayed one week because of flooding at National Trail Raceway.