The Missouri state basketball and football championships are hitting the road, and Columbia businesses may not be too happy.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association voted Friday to move the state basketball championships from Columbia to Springfield, effective in the 2017-2018 school year. The event, called the Show-Me Showdown, will move from Mizzou Arena to Springfield’s JQH Arena.
“We have an obligation to our membership to find not only the best facilities to host our championships, but also the best support from the host site to serve our schools’ needs,” MSHSAA Executive Director Dr. Kerwin Urhahn said in a release on MSHSAA’s website.
The MSHSAA Board of Directors chose Springfield over St. Charles and Columbia to host the Show-Me Showdown, which has participation from approximately 40 schools, MSHSAA communication director Jason West said.
The departure of the basketball championships is expected to impact Columbia economically.
“There were people who used our hotels, people who shopped in our stores and dined in our restaurants," Columbia Chamber of Commerce marketing and communication manager Megan McConachie said."And so we’re going to be working really diligently to make sure that there are people here in Columbia on those days."
While the city is losing the benefit of the basketball championships, it will be getting the state football championships in 2017. MSHSAA voted also to move the Show-Me Bowl to Faurot Field, following a stop in Springfield in 2016. The Show-Me Bowl has been held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis since 1996.
“It is a weekend that is traditionally very slow,” McConachie said, referring to the weekend of the Show-Me Bowl in late November. “Having additional revenue and additional visitors here during that time is really fantastic for our city.”