Football finals leaving Louisville

It looks even more likely now that the state football finals will move to Bowling Green in 2009.

That hasn’t been made official yet, but what is official is that Louisville — the home of every state title game since 1979 — won’t bid for the 2009 and 2010 championships. The Courier-Journal reported Sunday that Louisville won’t bid because the University of Louisville can’t guarantee that Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium would be available for the KHSAA’s desired dates.

The KHSAA is moving the finals back to the first week in December in 2009 — thank goodness — but doesn’t want to have to play some of them on a Thursday, which is what happened in 2006 because UofL hosted a nationally televised game on Saturday of the finals weekend.

Bowling Green is the only entity that has said it will bid at today’s KHSAA Board of Control meeting in Lexington, where those bids will be heard. Bowling Green, currently the home to state championships in girls basketball and boys and girls golf, wants to host the football finals in Western Kentucky University’s newly-renovated L.T. Smith Stadium, which has been expanded to seat about 23,000.

The six-game finals format requires that the games be played on an articifical surface. Besides UofL, the only other large stadiums in Kentucky with such fields are at WKU, Morehead State (which seats about 10,000) and Murray State (about 16,000).

UPDATE: Bowling Green made the only bid at Monday’s KHSAA Board of Control meeting, but the board delayed its decision until its next meeting Oct. 24 to allow the KHSAA staff to visit the stadium and meet with potential sponsors.

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