Football teams all around Washington will have to change those “Road to the T-Dome” hashtags for next season. The WIAA has decided not to renew its contract with the Tacoma Dome for the football state championship games.
The Tacoma Dome has been the primary host of the games, collectively known as the Gridiron Classic since 1996 when it replaced the Kingdome, and has hosted in some capacity since it opened in 1983. The decision came Sunday and the WIAA cited the cost of hosting the games there and received feedback critical of the recent renovations that changed the seating arrangement for football games.
“Ultimately, the Executive Board needed to evaluate whether holding the Gridiron Classic in the Tacoma Dome made sense for the Association, student-participants and fans. Costs of renting the facility have continued to increase and WIAA staff received criticisms regarding the new seating arrangement for football,” said WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese.
The WIAA will likely move toward regional sites depending on matchups as it does with most sports outside of basketball and wrestling, both of which will remain at the Tacoma Dome.
“The Tacoma community and the Tacoma Dome have been great hosts for many WIAA State Championships over the years,” Colbrese said. “They will continue to provide an exceptional experience for the WIAA Mat Classic and Hardwood Classic events.”