Bowling Green gets in the game
In a move that was expected but wasn’t official until now, Bowling Green has thrown its civic hat in the ring as a potential host city for the state football finals.
The Daily News of Bowling Green reported Friday that the city was to deliver its bid to the KHSAA on Friday and would learn later this months whether its efforts are successful.
The guess here is that it will be. Based on its success in hosting the Girls Sweet Sixteen basketball tournament, you can bet that Bowling Green has put together a package that will look attractive when compared to Louisville, the only other bidder and the host to every state title game since 1979.
The renovated L.T. Smith Stadium, expanded and upgraded as part of Western Kentucky University’s ascension to Division I-A football, has the look of a first-class venue. Its new capacity of 23,000 seats will accommodate all but the very largest finals crowds, and those were crowds that turned out to see two Louisville teams play in Louisville.
The finals have a perfectly good venue in Louisville’s Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, but there have been a few bugs since the finals moved there in 2003, the worst of which has involved problems with getting game traffic into the parking lots in a timely fashion. And as the college football season moves deeper into December, conflicts with the University of Louisville schedule are starting to become an issue. (One such conflict would come into play next year, in fact.)
Look for the KHSAA to give Bowling Green a try for two years (2009 and 2010). After that there might be a future in alternating sites, or the finals might find a new permanent home just as the girls basketball tournament has.