COLUMBUS, Ohio – The OHSAA announced yesterday that the Ohio High School Athletic Association StateFootball Championship will be moving back to Canton at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. After Thursday’s 9-0 vote the tentative agreement to return to Canton was solidified. The seven games will be played at the new facility in Canton.
The games were played in Canton for twenty-four years in Stark County from 1990-2013. The last three championships (2014, 2015 and 2016) were played at Ohio Stadium allowing for the renovations to take place at the Canton facility.
“When we first secured the state championships in 1990, we assured the OHSAA that Stark County would produce what would ultimately become the gold standard for high school football,” President & CEO Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Dennis Saunier said. “For the nearly a quarter century, players, coaches, students and fans experienced a well organized community that embraced the spirit of high school excellence.
“With completion of Tom Benson Stadium and the building of Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, the experience will be the best in the nation. Welcome home OHSAA.”
The stadium complex, which is next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will include Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, featuring hotels, shopping, a conference center and parking decks. Stadium construction is expected to be completed this summer. Most of the Village will not be completed until 2019 and 2020.
The world-class stadium and entertainment complex, adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is one of nine major components of Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, a $600 million development project underway to transform the Hall of Fame’s campus.
“We look forward to the OHSAA high school championships returning to Canton,” President & CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame David Baker said in a statement released through the OHSAA.
“Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village that includes the spectacular, state-of-the-art Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium will provide a rich experience for the many players, coaches, families, and fans attending the games. The excellence in competition among the best football players in the state will be celebrated by the Hall of Fame and our community.”
“Visit Canton is excited to see the tradition of the OHSAA high school football championships return to Stark County, and we are so eager to showcase the world-class Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium,” President of Visit Canton Allyson Bussey said in a statement. “Our team at the Convention & Visitors’ Bureau is working hand-in-hand with OHSAA and the Pro Football Hall of Fame to plan an experience of excellence for the athletes, coaches, parents, students and everyone involved in this prestigious event.”
Championships weekend is Thursday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 3. With exact dates and times of the games will be finalized this spring with plans to alternate between Ohio Stadium and Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, look for the 2018 championship to be in Canton and back inColumbus again in 2019.
Welcome back home!
— FridayNightOhio 🏈 (@FridayNightOhio) January 19, 2017