TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - This week, Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee will host three State Championship games for high school football. six teams are expected to bring in around 15,000 spectators, and the stadium, and Leon County, are ready for the task.
"All over town, I'm hearing people say how many people are you expecting?" said Ricky Bell, who is Leon County Schools director of student activities. "I'm getting calls from Blountstown and Madison, asking can they tailgate?"
This weekend, State Champions will be crowned, and at the center of the excitement? Visit Tallahassee and Leon County Schools.
"There's over 30 different agencies that have come together for this State Championship," said Amanda Heidecker, who is the director of sports for Leon County tourism. "What better way than bringing your community and showcasing to this state that Tallahassee is a place to come and we deserve to be hosting State Championships at this level."
Teams from as far as South Florida are making the trip, and it's the upgrades to Gene Cox Stadium that sealed the deal to host the biggest games of the season.
"With the new turf we've put in two years ago, that really turned the deal for us with the FHSAA," said Bell. "They came out and looked at the field and were just overwhelmed with the way the field was. We've made some upgrades with Visit Tallahassee to the Stadium."
"That's very exciting and a great opportunity to bring our fans to a facility that's been here for a long time and this facility staff has put a lot of work into it," added Heidecker.
Getting ready for the crowds?
"We're ready to go at this point," laughed Heidecker. "Again, the works been put in, it's game time and we're excited and ready to put on a show for everybody."
A show that'll be worth watching when toe meets leather for game one Thursday night. Thursday's game is the 2A State title game, and kicks off at 7:00. Florida High plays for the Class 3A State Championship on Friday against Chaminade-Madonna at 7:00, while Madison County and Blountstown round out the weekend Saturday at 7:00 for the 1A crown.