For the first time since 2009, the TSSAA BlueCross Bowl state football championships will not be played at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium in Cookeville.
After an 11-1 vote by the TSSAA Board of Control on Tuesday, the BlueCross Bowl state championship games will be moved to Finley Stadium in Chattanooga for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
The decision was rooted in a dispute over the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors Bureau’s desire to sell advertisements on the Tucker Stadium video board as well as signage around the stadium during the event.
Doing so would cause the TSSAA to be in violation of their contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield to be the event’s only sponsor.
TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress stated he understood Cookeville’s desire to monetize the event for the city, but the TSSAA couldn’t risk breaching its contracts.
The change of venue adds nearly 55 miles for Nashville travelers and 45 miles for Memphis travelers than the drive to Cookeville. Chattanooga’s contract with the TSSAA will pay them $250,000 per year and guarantee 105 hotel rooms for the event.
The nine-game, three-day event generated between $2.5 and $3 million for the city of Cookeville, according to the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitor’s Bureau.
Williamson County has had at least three schools make it to their respective state championship games in three consecutive years. Summit and CPA each won state titles this season