LEXINGTON - During Tuesday’s scheduled meeting at the KHSAA Office, the Board of Control awarded the girls’ basketball state tournament to the Bank of Kentucky Center and Northern Kentucky University for 2016 and 2017, while extending the stay of the Worth/KHSAA Softball State Tournament at Jack C. Fisher Park in Owensboro for four more years (2015-18). In addition, the Board approved a final draft of the football alignment for the 2015-18 seasons which can be found at this link: http://goo.gl/rZfNWC.
“It speaks volumes to the growth and progress of female athletics in this state that we received two very strong proposals for both championships, where in the past there might not have been much interest. It bodes very well for the future of female athletics in Kentucky,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “In terms of the girls’ basketball championship, the Board was of the opinion that moving the championship to a new site might help grow the event and offer further exposure to the sport and its participants. Moving the tournament is in no way an indictment of Bowling Green, WKU or Houchens Industries. They have been great partners of the KHSAA and will continue to be in the future.”
Bowling Green and Western Kentucky University’s E.A. Diddle Arena have been home to the Girls’ Sweet 16 since 2001, with Houchens Industries serving as title sponsor since the 2003 tournament. WKU is scheduled to host the event in 2015 before it transitions to the Bank of Kentucky Center. Following the two-year period, the Board will evaluate the event’s success compared to past tournaments and determine a direction for the future. Bowling Green remains the host city for the Leachman Buick-GMC-Cadillac/KHSAA State Golf Championships (through 2020), and the Board has approved an agreement for WKU to host the Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl Football Championship through 2018.
Owensboro’s Jack C. Fisher Park has been the host site for the KHSAA Softball State Tournament since 2008, and will hold the event for 11-consecutive years when Tuesday’s extension expires following the 2018 tournament.