The University of Dayton and the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Monday girls and boys basketball state tournaments will be hosted at UD Arena for the next three years.
Doug Ute, OHSAA executive director, and Scott DeBolt, senior associate athletics director at University of Dayton and executive director of UD Arena, made the announcement on Monday.
UD Arena had already been announced as the home of the OHSAA girls basketball state tournament for 2021, 2022 and 2023, but the new agreement for the girls and boys basketball state tournaments in 2022, 2023 and 2024 replaces that previous contract. UD Arena successfully hosted both the OHSAA girls and boys basketball state tournaments this past March.
“We are very excited that our student-athletes will get to play at UD Arena,” Ute said. “Even with the pandemic limiting what all could take place at the state tournaments last March, our schools still had a great experience at UD Arena, and UD made it very clear that they wanted to host both the girls and boys state tournaments moving forward. We know that the support for basketball in Southwest Ohio is very strong and UD wants to be the home of the state tournaments.”
Having hosted 125 NCAA basketball tournament games, UD Arena has been the home court for March Madness more than any other facility in the country.
“We are very excited to host the state tournaments at UD Arena,” DeBolt said. “In addition to our love of the Dayton Flyers, we are so proud to host many great events here, including the NCAA First Four, and we are pleased and grateful to welcome the OHSAA girls and boys basketball state tournaments to UD Arena. Our community will support the state tournaments just like our other events and this will be a special place for the teams, schools and communities that reach the state tournaments.”
Renovated in 2019, UD Arena has a seating capacity of 13,000 and has played host to many OHSAA basketball district and regional tournament games, along with Atlantic 10 Conference and NCAA tournament games.
UD Arena recently completed a transformation project that was the largest construction effort in the University’s history. It is regarded as one of the nation’s premier basketball facilities to go along with fan support that consistently ranks among the best in college basketball.
Prior to its move to UD Arena in March, the OHSAA girls basketball state tournament had been hosted by Ohio State every year since it inaugural state tournament in 1976, except in 1986 when it was hosted by the University of Akron.
The boys basketball state tournament had been hosted by OSU every year since 1957, except for 1986 and 1987 when it was hosted at UD Arena. The 2021 OHSAA boys basketball state tournament was scheduled to be hosted at OSU’s St. John Arena, but the facility was unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The OHSAA did not have a contract in place with OSU for the boys basketball state tournament beyond the 2021 agreement that was voided.
OHSAA to start charging membership dues
The association’s board of directors on Wednesday unanimously approved a recommendation from Ute that membership dues be collected beginning with the 2021-22 school year. The measure means each high school will contribute $50 per OHSAA sanctioned sport in which the school participates.
“I have received favorable feedback from the majority of the administrators with whom I have conversed at our member schools,” Ute said. “Levying membership dues does not change our mission, which is to serve our member schools and enrich interscholastic opportunities for students.
“We traditionally have relied on tournament ticket sales for about 80 percent of our revenue. That financial model has not been sustainable, and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly not helped. Levying membership dues will give us a steady line of income since many of our other lines are variable, and it will help us build a new, more sustainable revenue model. That model, which will help ensure our long-term sustainability, will be a combination of a wider variety of income streams – including these dues – and continued better management of our expenses.”
Total dues for the 2021-22 school year will range from $300 per school to $1,300, depending on the number of OHSAA-sanctioned sports in which a school is participating. The dues will be reviewed annually by an OHSAA Finance Committee and any modifications will be recommended to the Board by the executive director. In the future, dues will not exceed $100 per sport.
Levying dues means:
• Member schools will no longer pay any tournament entry fees, bowling lineage fees, golf green fees or wrestling weight management fees. The membership due is all-inclusive.
• Student scholarships will be reinstated during the 2021-22 school year.
• Student catastrophic insurance coverage for all student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers and student athletic trainers during in-season and OHSAA tournament practices and contests will continue to be provided at no cost to member schools.
• OHSAA will continue to supply all team trophies and/or individual medals for champions, runners-up and other selected place-winners at the district, regional and state level.
• OHSAA will continue to supply rule books, sport manuals, online rules meeting presentations plus other publications and tournament administrator passes at no cost to member schools.
• OHSAA will continue to pay high school fees for ArbiterGame accounts.
• No membership dues will be levied against member 7th-8th grade schools.
“We will continue to be open and transparent with our member schools about our financial situation,” Ute said. “If we are able to adjust dues in the future, we will look to do so. I want to sincerely thank all of our school administrators for their work and efforts in helping to provide participation opportunities for our student-athletes during these uncertain times, and we appreciate the support they have given us in continuing to conduct our tournaments.”