TACOMA, Wash. — The championship games for Washington high school football will no longer be played at the Tacoma Dome, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) announced Saturday.
They said the rising cost of renting the facility is one reason they're pulling out of the facility. The WIAA estimates it will save over $60,000 to $70,000 with the move.
"Costs of renting the facility have continued to increase and WIAA staff received criticism regarding the new seating arrangement for football," said WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese.
Another reason includes a new seating arrangement that makes watching the games difficult for fans. Although the WIAA supported the renovation of the dome, it hurts sight lines for football fans.
"The [WIAA] executive board needed to evaluate whether holding the Gridiron Classic in the Tacoma Dome made sense for the Association, student-participants and fans," Colbrese said.
With this move, WIAA expects to use multiple sites to host championship games instead of the single-site format. New locations will be finalized in Fall 2019.
"While the Tacoma Dome offered the ability to have all state championship football games in one location, we anticipate that using multiple sites will have its own benefits," Colbrese added.
He expects fans will see lower ticket prices without having to pay service fees associated with using the Dome, as well as parking and concession prices.
"The Tacoma community and the Tacoma Dome have been great hosts for many WIAA state championships," Colbrese said.
The wrestling and basketball state championships will still be held at the Tacoma Dome. With the dome renovation, the WIAA says sight lines for those sports have improved.
The Dome has hosted the Gridiron Classic games since the 1995-96 season.