COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that two upcoming basketball state tournaments will return to St. John Arena at The Ohio State University, including the 2020 girls basketball state tournament and the 2021 boys basketball state tournament.
Both state tournaments coincide with OSU’s spring break, which will allow for better parking options for spectators.
“We are excited to return to St. John Arena, where many schools and basketball fans have great memories,” said Jerry Snodgrass, OHSAA Executive Director. “The Schottenstein Center and its staff have been great partners of the OHSAA, but there are some upcoming scheduling conflicts with OSU basketball and ice hockey teams on our state tournament dates, as well as parking concerns, so we have been talking with OSU about returning to St. John Arena.”
The OHSAA boys basketball state tournaments were held at St. John Arena from 1957-1985 and 1988-1998. The Schottenstein Center opened in 1998 and has hosted the boys basketball state tournaments since 1999.
The OHSAA girls basketball state tournaments were held at St. John Arena from 1976-1985 and 1987-1999 before moving to the Schottenstein Center in 2000, where they have remained every year except 2005 when the girls returned to St. John Arena because of the OSU men’s ice hockey team hosting a conference playoff series at the Schottenstein Center.
St. John Arena has been unavailable for OHSAA district, regional and state tournament contests, as it has been the practice and competition home of OSU women’s and men’s volleyball, women’s and men’s gymnastics and wrestling teams.
However, OSU’s new Covelli Center is now open, which is the new home for those OSU sports.
Starting on a Thursday, the 2020 girls basketball state tournament will be at St. John Arena March 12-14. The OHSAA’s 2020 individual wrestling state tournament at the Schottenstein Center will begin on Friday, March 13, and conclude Sunday, March 15.
The 2020 OHSAA boys basketball state tournament will remain at the Schottenstein Center over the dates of March 19-21.
“We anticipate that our individual wrestling state tournament will remain at the Schottenstein Center for years to come, but our basketball state tournaments are more flexible and the scheduling conflicts at the Schottenstein Center those weekends are a reality,” Snodgrass said. “We will continue to discuss our basketball state tournaments format and scheduling with our staff, Board of Directors and the staff of the Schottenstein Center and Ohio State University Athletics Department. We will work together to ensure our state tournaments remain premier events.”
St. John Arena has a seating capacity of 13,276.