The OHSAA is announcing today that they will bring the State High School Football Championships back to Canton for 3 more years with an option to extend the deal as well. Commissioners Doug Ute, speaking to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon Club Monday, said he is proud to tell others around the country that Ohio’s state football championships are played at the hall of fame. He says it’s not just games, it’s an experience.
Here’s the release from the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
The Ohio High School Athletic Association and Pro Football Hall of Fame on Monday announced a three-year extension to the agreement naming the Hall of Fame as host of the annual state football championships in Canton. The games, across Ohio’s seven divisions, will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium through 2026.
OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute announced the partnership extension at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon Club in Canton today. Ute spoke to the club’s members as part of his annual visit with the group during state championships week.
“We are excited to continue to grow this partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Ute said. “They have been so good to work with and are just as excited as us to take the next steps with the finals in Canton and have people experience all that the Hall of Fame, the surrounding Hall of Fame Village, and Canton have to offer in addition to state championship football. We also thank Visit Canton for their support of the state championships and appreciate their support to host the games in Stark County.”
Stadiums in Canton, Massillon and Ohio State University have hosted the state football championships at various points over the past 30 years. With its ties to the game and Canton’s rich football history, the OHSAA has said the Pro Football Hall of Fame is an ideal place to continue to host the state championships.
“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is proud to partner with Visit Canton and the OHSAA to keep the seven state championship games in Canton for the next three years,” said Jim Porter, Hall of Fame president. “The Hall wants this relationship to continue long into the future. Our staff will look for additional ways to build the weekend into a full community celebration – making the experience even more special for the teams playing in Canton and creating memories that will last a lifetime.”
Visit Canton, which first hosted the state football championships starting in 1990 and most recently in Canton from 2017-19, will continue as a sponsor and partner of the games.
“Visit Canton is delighted that the OHSAA has selected Stark County to continue to host its state high school football championship games. Without question, this event has become a cornerstone for our community for several decades,” said Allyson Bussey, president and CEO of Visit Canton. “We continue our commitment to support this longstanding partnership with the OHSAA and Pro Football Hall of Fame and look forward to welcoming the teams, coaches and fans to Canton.”