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Oklahoma High School Football Title Games to Stay Put at Chad Richison Stadium

Oklahoma high school games will remain under the Friday night spotlights in the University of Central Oklahoma’s Chad Richison Stadium through to 2028.

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Last year’s high school football playoff title games and championships were huge hits among fans and players alike. Oklahoma high school title games will remain under the Friday night spotlights in the University of Central Oklahoma’s Chad Richison Stadium through the 2028 school year. Given the stadium’s central location, geography likely played a significant role in bringing championship high school football to the region. The University of Central Oklahoma owns and operates Chad Richison Stadium, a modern facility seating thousands of fans.

In making this decision, Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board members voted to approve a five-year deal that keeps title games at the stadium through the 2028 academic year. While the Chad Richison Stadium had hosted high school title games the previous three years, the extension is welcomed by UCO athletic director Stan Wagnon. In a recent statement, Wagnon said, “These young men… get one chance to play for the state championship, and we take it very seriously to come alongside the staff here and make sure that we get that one chance right.” UCO’s partnership with the OSSAA represents a successful partnership working for communities. Wagnon expressed satisfaction with the last three years and looks forward to the future partnership.

After the OSSAA’s three-year contract with UCO expired following last year’s games, the board solicited bids to host the title games from nine schools. OSSAA reduced the number to three by weighing factors like parking, stadium seating and cost. The Oklahoma Football Coaches Association supported the status quo, which was a key part of the Board’s decision.

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Also on the slate for the OSSAA’s monthly board meeting was a disagreement about how public and private schools compete against each other. Additionally, the teams would lean heavily toward private school dominance without the separation. In stark contrast, a recent survey of schools in the OSSAA revealed that 85% support keeping playoffs separate across all sports. Kicking the can down the road, the OSSAA agreed in a 9-2 vote with one abstention that private schools will only play against other private schools for playoff and title games through the 2025 school year. The proposal could not be ignored, given that the 75% response rate on the survey represented a substantial majority opinion.

Those who voted against the separation noted there are no clear guidelines for the separation as the measure takes effect. Those who want the new deal also expressed concern for the disparity resulting from the separation. The OSSAA has concerns about the added management of 44 more schools under their direction. Given the strong support revealed by the survey, the association had little choice.

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Board members discussed a potential contract with Teall Properties Group, in which a new, 10-year multimedia rights agreement from TPG would replace the current contract with YVPE Media that runs through 2025. However, YVPE didn’t bring the contract to the meeting, resulting in a 12-0 vote to reject the proposal.

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