COLUMBUS The Ohio High School Athletic Association recently announced changes to the format of the boys basketball state tournament, with the changes set to take effect this year and make the event similar to how the girls basketball state tournament has been conducted.
OHAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass announced that beginning with the 2019 state tournament, the boys basketball state semifinals will be doubleheader sessions, meaning fans will need only one ticket for both semifinal games of each division and will not need to leave the arena between those two games.
The changes were approved by the OHSAA’s board of directors.
“We are pleased to make this change,” Snodgrass said. “This means that during the semifinals, fans will not have to leave the arena and re-enter as often and many of the teams and their fans will miss less school and work time. It also means the semifinal sessions will have four communities inside the arena instead of two, so the Schottenstein Center will be closer to capacity, which will create an electric atmosphere for both games.”
All-session tickets will go on sale to the general pubic in early February and ticket order forms were mailed to OHSAA member schools late last month.
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.
“We want to stress that this format change doesn’t mean that we are doubling the cost of tickets for the semifinals,” Snodgrass said. “In fact, the cost for all-session tickets stays the same in the lower bowl and actually decreases in the upper bowl.”
Additional details for tickets will be released in mid-January. The 2019 OHSAA girls basketball state tournament will take place March 14-16, while the boys basketball state tournament is set for March 21-23.