After a two-year stay at the University at Albany’s Bob Ford Field, the Section II Class AA Super Bowl is looking for a new home.
Wayne Bertrand, Section II’s executive director, said the section’s executive committee met today and elected to pursue other locations for this year’s big football game in the area’s largest classification. Bertrand said there were a number of reasons for the change, from cost concerns to the logistics of having the game again at UAlbany.
“So, we’re going to explore other options,” Bertrand said.
A year ago, CBA and Shenendehowa played in the title game, with the Plainsmen emerging with a 25-20 victory. Bertrand said that game had a paid attendance of 2,406 people, almost 1,000 fewer than the 2013 Super Bowl. With that knowledge, Bertrand said it was in the section’s best interest to seek a venue with a lower price tag; with all expenses considered, Bertrand said having the game at UAlbany costs the section several thousand dollars.
“We’ve had declining ticket sales and that’s the revenue that drives the bus for us,” said Bertrand, likening the Section II model to that of any major college sports conference.
“Football and basketball are rainmakers for us, that’s the engine that keeps us going,” he said. “We want to do right by the kids, so we have to look for other options.”
UAlbany officials did not return messages left today seeking comment.
Shenendehowa football head coach Brian Clawson said his squad had an “unbelievable experience” playing in the game last fall at UAlbany, but was less concerned with the change than he is with his team’s opening game against Canisius, last year’s Catholic High School Athletic Association champion.
“Wherever it’s going to be, it doesn’t matter to us,” Clawson said of this year’s Super Bowl. “We’re just focused on one game right now.”
Bob Dorrance, Section II football’s chairman, said several factors will play into determining the new site for the Class AA Super Bowl.
“Obviously, you have financial consideration, logistical considerations, and competitive considerations,” Dorrance said. “We would probably like to keep the game at the college level because some of the high schools that are big enough to host the game are good enough to be in the game. All those things will play into the decision.”
Besides local colleges, high school sites for the game will also be considered, but both Bertrand and Dorrance said the section’s preference will be to schedule the game for a location that will not allow one team to have a home-field advantage in the Super Bowl. The last time the Class AA title game was played at a high school was 2012 when Shenendehowa played host to the game at Brent T. Steuerwald Stadium. While the Plainsmen lost 14-0 to Shaker that year, some were unhappy Shenendehowa was able to play on its home field for that game.
(With a smile, Clawson seemed to reference that controversy at his team’s Thursday practice. “We thought it was great [when it was at Shenendehowa],” he said.)
For now, there’s no timetable on when the section will pick a location for the 2015 Class AA Super Bowl, which is scheduled to be played Nov. 6.
“But hopefully we can come to a resolution pretty quickly,” Dorrance said.
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Categories: High School Sports, News