KSU athletic director Vaughn Williams said he would invite every opportunity to bring more GHSA events to campus.
“We’d love to entertain anything the GHSA would want to do,” he said. “These are things we want to do a lot more of.”
Kennesaw State may get that opportunity sooner than later.
According to a story in the Gwinnett Daily Post, the 13,000 seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, the host of state basketball tournament games since the 2002 season, and the state traditional wrestling championships, will not be host to those events any time in the near future.
“It doesn’t look good,” Georgia High School Association executive director Ralph Swearngin told the GDP.
The state basketball playoffs had to be moved out of the Arena this year because the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament. And the SEC will be there again in 2014.
Semifinal games were moved to KSU, Georgia Tech and Fort Valley State. All 14 state championship games will be held this week in Macon, at the Macon Centreplex, with four games to be played on Thursday and Friday and six on Saturday.
According to the report, Georgia Tech’s new McCamish Pavilion would not be available to host games before 7 p.m. on any day if the GHSA wanted to try to move more of the action in future years there. The University of Georgia may be interested in bringing events there in the future, but Kennesaw State may have an opportunity to capitalize now.
The KSU Convocation Center seats 4,600 and according to Katie Egloff, Kennesaw State assistant athletics director for events and championships, Friday’s Class A semifinal games brought in approximately 2,000 fans and Saturday’s Class AAAAA semifinals drew approximately 2,900. Those numbers would have likely been even bigger, but St. Francis had both boys and girls playing in the Class A games on Friday and Miller Grove did the same in the Class AAAAAs on Saturday.
“We were pleased with the tournament’s first year here,” Egloff said.
Kennesaw State will get one more opportunity to impress the GHSA this spring when half of the soccer state championship games will be played May 17-18 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The other half will be played at the Atlanta Silverbacks Stadium. The schedule of which games will be played where have not been released yet, but it will be another opportunity for KSU to draw more people to campus.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback,” Williams said about the games at KSU. “For many people it’s the first time on our campus and in the Convocation Center, and they are saying what great facilities.”