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Facilities A Deciding Factor In TSSAA Bid

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Facilities A Deciding Factor In TSSAA Bid

Questions about facilities seemed to be a main concern of TSSAA leaders when it came to Cookeville’s presentation to host the State Football Championships.

Tennessee Tech Athletic Director Mark Wilson attended the bid presentations Tuesday. He said he was disappointed for the University and the community that the games are headed to Chattanooga.

“I believe they had questions about the video board and revenues from the video board, and Cookeville trying to generate some revenues from the video board to be able to meet the guarantee that we put fourth,” Wilson said. “And really I feel like we have been operating that way since the video board has been in Tucker Stadium. (…) And then, they talked a lot about the turf at Tucker Stadium, and I can insure people that the turf at Tucker Stadium is safe. It is safe for Tennessee Tech football to be able to play and practice on a daily basis. But unfortunately, those are questions that they had.”

Cookeville’s packaged focused on hospitality with a financial guarantee of $253,000. Included in the presentation were options for digital ticket sales, parking and lodging accommodations. The package does not include the costs associated with hosting the games including emergency personnel for the city and county as well as facility work provided by Tennessee Tech.

“We’re extremely proud of what we did,” Wilson said. “We think we made the operation of the event a bowl like experience for high school student athletes. It certainly is disappointing to hear that it is going to move to another location.”

Wilson said stake holders will consider rebidding in the future. Until then, Wilson said he thanks all the different parts that have helped with the games over the years.

“I am so proud of Cookeville and all the volunteers that have come out each and every year to roll out the red carpet, or as we like to say on Tennessee Tech’s campus the purple carpet for high school student athletes and coaches and staff and fans throughout the state of Tennessee.”


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