UIL State Basketball Tournaments Are Officially Moving to San Antonio
After much speculation and debate, the University Interscholastic League announced Tuesday the boys and girls state basketball tournaments are officially moving to the Alamodome in San Antonio in 2015.
The move was largely based on the issues that arose for schools while finding hotels in Austin in early March at the same time during South By Southwest and other events in the area. Some schools at this year's tournament were forced to stay as far as 50 miles away from the Frank Erwin Center.
“The decision to move the basketball state tournaments has been a difficult one,” UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said in a press release. “The tournaments have enjoyed a rich tradition in Austin, but in order to provide the best experience for student-athletes, coaches and fans, it is best to move the UIL basketball state tournaments to another excellent venue in Texas, the San Antonio Alamodome.”
The Frank Erwin Center on The University of Texas at Austin campus has hosted the state tournaments since 1978, and the first state tournaments were played in Austin in 1921.
This decision ends a long, rich history of the state tournament in Austin, but many coaches in East Texas were supportive of the change to ease the challenge of finding and paying for hotels during a high-traffic time in Austin. Attendance at the annual tournament also had started to suffer.
“We’re thrilled the UIL has chosen San Antonio to host one of the state’s premier high school championships,” said Casandra Matej, San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau Director. “From NCAA Final Fours to the Spurs’ march to a fifth NBA crown last month, San Antonio has proven to be a championship city when it comes to basketball. We look forward to providing another unforgettable experience for players, fans and officials at the 2015 UIL State Basketball Tournaments.”
The girls state tournament will be March 5-7, 2015, and the boys is March 12-14, 2015. The UIL said ticket information is still in the works.
The Alamodome has capacity for 72,000, though only the lower levels will likely be used for the tournament. Attendance at this year's boys games stayed around 10,000 for each game, compared to an average of about 14,000 just 10 years ago.