TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Visit Tallahassee and FAMU representatives gathered at Bragg Stadium Thursday morning to announce the venue will host the Florida High School Athletic Association Football State Championship for the first time in 40 years.
If given final approval, the stadium, home to the FAMU Rattlers, will be the site for the Championship starting December 7th through December 9th.
Keri Post, the Director for the Division of Tourism for Leon County, said the economic impact of the event will be significant. She added the Championship is projected to bring in $11 million for the area and be attended by 30,000 people.
Tiffani-Dawn Sykes, Vice President of Intercollegiate athletics at FAMU, said it will increase the buzz around football in the area. "We'll be able to cap that off by hosting the FHSAA champtionship," she added.
This announcement builds on the recent action at Bragg stadium which underwent a $10 million dollar upgrade last October.
Sykes said these renovations allow FAMU to showcase what they have to offer. "We are really committed to making sure every who comes to our stadium, no matter what the event is, has a first class experience", Sykes added.
Leon County Leaders are expected to vote on approving the event in October.
Leon County has been selected to host all 9 classifications of the 2023 Class Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Football State Championships at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University’s (FAMU) Bragg Memorial Stadium on December 7-9, 2023. Final approval of the funding agreement will come before the Leon County Board of County Commissioners in October. The event is expected to bring over 30,000 student-athletes, coaches and fans into Leon County, with an estimated economic impact of over $11 million.
In 2022, the FHSAA reclassified high school football to 1M-4M, 1S-4S and 1R, with a total of 9 champions being crowned. In 2019, 2021, and 2022 Gene Cox Stadium hosted the 1A-3A and newly classified 1M, 1S, 2S, and 1R championships. In 2020, the 1A-8A championships were hosted at Doak Campbell Stadium. This year's championship event will be historic as it is the first time that the FHSAA will host the 9 team classifications all in a single location and the first time the entire championships will be hosted at a Historically Black College.
"Leon County is dedicated to cultivating an inviting atmosphere for athletes, coaches, and spectators from around the state for this exciting event,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Nick Maddox. “We are thrilled to be selected and partner with Florida A&M University to host a memorable championship, pending Board approval.”
All nine games of the FHSAA Football State Championships will take place at Ken Riley Field at Bragg Memorial Stadium to accommodate the larger crowds anticipated with the state competition and to allow for a true championship experience for all. Three games will be played each day of the Championships and a final schedule by classification will be provided on FHSAA.com [leoncountyfl.us20.list-manage.com] after the regional finals conclude.
"If approved by the Board in October, hosting all of the FHSAA football championship games would be a significant boost to the County's local tourism economy," said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. "Our County Tourism team continuously searches for opportunities just like this one, which leads to record tourism growth year after year."
Tickets will be sold online only at a presale rate of $17 and $20 if purchased the day of the game. Parking fees are included in the price of the ticket.
“We are honored to again host the FHSAA football state championships in their entirety this year,” said Kerri L. Post, Director of Leon County Division of Tourism (Visit Tallahassee). “We look forward to welcoming fans from around the state to enjoy three days of state championship football at FAMU’s Bragg Memorial Stadium and to explore the vibrant and friendly community here in Tallahassee-Leon County.”
“The FHSAA is excited about the upcoming Florida High School Football State Championships to be hosted at Bragg Memorial Stadium in Tallahassee,” said FHSAA Executive Director Craig Damon. “Creating opportunities for our student-athletes is a top priority of ours and finding a facility large enough to host the whole series in one location and welcome thousands that wish to attend, is a dream come true. We have worked with the folks at Visit Tallahassee and in Leon County for many years now with great success and we could not be more grateful for their efforts in making these championships a quality experience for the student-athletes of the State of Florida.”
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top public Historic Black College and University (HBCU) for five years, Florida A&M University recently underwent an extensive renovation of Bragg Memorial Stadium to enhance its facilities and overall infrastructure. These renovations modernized the stadium, providing a more comfortable and engaging experience for both athletes and spectators.
“It is an honor to partner with Leon County and the FHSAA to host the championship in our newly renovated Bragg Memorial Stadium,” said Tiffani-Dawn Sykes, FAMU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “This is an incredible opportunity to showcase FAMU statewide and welcome tens of thousands of high school football fans to Bragg Memorial Stadium.”
To learn more about the FHSAA, visit FHSAA.com. For more media information contact Katie Kole, Senior Marketing Director, Leon County Tourism/Visit Tallahassee at (850) 606-2324 office or email@example.com.