Commissioner Blake Ress announced today that the IHSAA has an agreement in principle approving Fort Wayne as the host site of the 2010 IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals.
That decision was among several state tournament measures that were recently voted upon during the IHSAA Executive Committee’s final meeting of the 2008-09 school year.
The agreement is for one year and calls for the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum to host the 35th Annual IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals and its four state championship games on Saturday, March 6, 2010.
“The proposal submitted by the Fort Wayne business community to host our girls basketball state finals in 2010 was simply too attractive to pass over,” said Ress. “Even though this decision may create some additional travel for some schools, I think the reception they will receive in Fort Wayne will outweigh those issues. We are excited about hosting this event in Fort Wayne.”
“As a community, we are delighted at the prospect of hosting the IHSAA girls basketball state finals next March,” said Randy Brown, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. “Memorial Coliseum is an outstanding venue to host this great event and I’m confident our community will fully embrace this opportunity to make it a great experience for the teams and fans of high school basketball.”
In addition to Fort Wayne, the IHSAA received bids from Ball State University and Indiana University. Many believed that West Lafayette had been part of the bidding process as well.
Neither Indianapolis venue used in recent years -- Conseco Fieldhouse, which hosted the girls state finals from 2001-2008, nor Lucas Oil Stadium, which hosted in 2009 -- was available for use on next year’s date.
According to the Journal Gazette, the Fort Wayne contingent -- made up of members from the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Fort Wayne Sports Corp., Memorial Coliseum and the mayor’s office -- sweetened the bid by including a one-day fanfest the day before the state tournament as part of the proposal package. The free event, to be held at the Spiece Fieldhouse, will include gifts and basketball memorabilia and will be sponsored by Vera Bradley Designs, based in Fort Wayne .