High schools: Basketball, wrestling tournaments to remain at Big House

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Board of Directors approved a five-year contract extension with the fairgrounds by a 12-0 vote, continuing a long-standing high school sports tradition.
by Jacob Unruh Published: April 16, 2014

The state basketball and wrestling tournaments will remain at State Fair Arena the next five years, but it might come at a cost.

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors approved a five-year contract extension with the fairgrounds by a 12-0 vote, continuing a long-standing high school sports tradition.

It just comes with a cost increase that could affect prices for fans moving forward, including ticket prices and a parking fee.

OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley doesn’t want to go there yet despite that being the focus of the board’s discussion before the vote.

“Our commitment today was to make a commitment,” Sheakley said. “Now we’ll decide how we want to absorb that cost, whether we can go out and get some more sponsorships, whether we have to increase ticket prices or whether we just bite the bullet and that’s just another cost added on to the arena.

“At this point, I don’t want to go down that road. If it doesn’t ever come to fruition, I just don’t want to put that out there and all of sudden people get excited.”

The agreement with the fairgrounds that expired this year called for 12 percent of the gate admission and $1,500 per weekend to utilize the arena from the OSSAA.

The new agreement continues the 12 percent fee, but changes the arena fee to $1 per adult admission ticket. A food rebate for basketball is also no longer there, increasing the total by nearly $7,000. In total, the new cost of the arena for the three weekends would increase by around an estimated $40,000.

This past season, the cost of the wrestling state tournament was $20,553 and the combined total of the basketball tournaments was $67,902.

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by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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