COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association is trying something different for the 2019 state boys’ basketball tournament in Columbus.
The OHSAA announced Monday afternoon the state boys’ basketball tournament will schedule doubleheader sessions for the state semifinals, a similar setup to the girls’ basketball state semifinals.
There will be eight sessions for the state boys' basketball tournament in March. Essentially, a ticket is good for two games at a time without clearing the Schottenstein Center in the semifinals. There are four divisions in Ohio boys' basketball.
The OHSAA had doubleheader sessions for the boys' semifinals through the early 1970s.
The state boys’ basketball tournament is March 21-23, 2019 at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
The state girls’ basketball tournament is March 14-16 at the Schottenstein Center.
All-session tickets will go on sale to the general pubic in early February. Ticket order forms will be mailed to OHSAA member schools this week.
Some ticket prices will be adjusted for the boys state tournament, including a decrease in the cost of all-session tickets in the terrace level from $120 down to $96 per person ($12 per session). All-session ticket prices in the lower level remain the same at $144 per person ($18 per session). For the semifinals, single-session tickets will increase from $15 to $20 in the lower level and from $10 to $15 in the upper level.
Single-session tickets in the lower bowl for students and fans of the 16 semifinalists will be sold at the schools for a reduced rate compared to the public lower-bowl cost and will allow admittance for both games of the session.
Like the girls basketball state tournament, the boys basketball state championship games on Saturday will remain as a separate ticket for each game.
The OHSAA continues to look for ways to increase the attendance for the state boys’ basketball tournament at the Schottenstein Center.
The all-session attendance for the 2018 state tournament was 105,176. Those figures reflected a decrease of 10,324 fans from the 2017 state tournament and a decrease of 23,695 fans from 2016.
Moeller’s 2018 Division I state final against Solon drew 9,226 for an 8:30 p.m. tip-off on Saturday night, March 24. That was the first time the Division I state boys’ basketball final drew less than 10,000 fans since 2013 when Mentor defeated Toledo Rogers in front of 9,566.
Deer Park's Division III state final against Columbus Africentric Early College last season drew 8,705 in a Saturday afternoon game. The 2017 Division I state final featuring Moeller and Massillon Jackson was 11,750. For comparison sake, the 2016 Division I state final featuring Westerville South and Lima Senior had 13,457 in attendance. However, Westerville South is less than 16 miles from The Schott.
OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass told WCPO in late November the OHSAA is considering a one-year agreement for the state boys' basketball tournament to be held at St. John Arena in an upcoming season. That season hasn't been determined yet.
The state boys' basketball tournament has been held at the Schottenstein Center since 1999.