Three venue rotation put in place for 2021-2032 AHSAA Super 7 football championships
Birmingham’s Protective Life Stadium, Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denny Stadium and Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium will rotate hosting the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s (AHSAA) Super 7 state high school football championships over the years 2021-2032.
AHSAA made the announcement Thursday, pending final approvals in process from the association and community partners.
The new structure (the addition being Birmingham) continues the tradition of using the state’s premier football venues as the backdrop for student-athletes in all seven AHSAA classifications to compete for their football state title each year.
In a statement, AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese expressed his enthusiasm for the fresh format.
“It is with great pride that we announce the continuation of Super 7 for 2021-2032 and our partnership with the communities of Auburn-Opelika, Tuscaloosa, and now Birmingham,” he said.
“The communities of Auburn-Opelika and Tuscaloosa helped the AHSAA take this event to a new level in 2009 and created the standard of excellence for hosting that is unmatched across high school athletics,” Savarese continued. “The AHSAA is grateful for Auburn-Opelika and Tuscaloosa embracing a new idea to include Birmingham in the rotation which will now provide three high quality venues for our member schools to showcase their football programs at the end of each season.”
The 2021 event will begin the new three-community rotation at Protective Life Stadium in downtown Birmingham, which will at that time be newly constructed. The stadium will host its first Super 7 from December 1-3, 2021, followed by the years 2024, 2027 and 2030.
The 2021 event will mark the return of the state high school football championships to Birmingham for the first time since 2008, when the Magic City last hosted the event in its Super 6 format at historic Legion Field, where the championships were played from 1996 – 2008. Legion Field also was host to the large-school championship game from 1971 – 1995.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin commented, “We are pleased to see the AHSAA Super 7 return to the city where it began more than 20 years ago.”
“The Super 7 showcases the best of high school athletics in Alabama, and Birmingham is excited to be a host city once again. As a progressive city focused on building a better future for our young people, we look forward to working closely with the AHSAA to celebrate championship-caliber high school sports for years to come,” he added.
Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium and the communities of Auburn and Opelika will host in 2022, 2026, 2028 and 2032.
The Opelika City Council voted on November 5 to approve the host years, and the City of Auburn is in the midst of its approval process. Auburn Mayor Ron Anders advised that his city is “excited to continue the great tradition of hosting this major event for our state” when that process is completed.
Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium will host in 2023, 2025, 2029 and 2031.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said, “The City of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama have always been synonymous with great football and striving towards excellence, and we want to continue that tradition by offering the opportunity for our youth across the state to continue to come to our city to play in the same arena as some of the greats who have come before them. Tuscaloosa has been a host of the Super 6 since 2009, and we want to continue to be a part of the Super 7 in our state in future years.”
Savarese thanked all three venue communities for their enthusiastic commitment to the AHSAA’s Super 7 football championship experience for its member schools.
“On behalf of our more than 400 member high schools and approximately 150,000 student-athletes this association serves, I want to sincerely thank the community partners who have pledged their support to make this idea a reality including the City of Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports, the University of Alabama, the City of Auburn, the City of Opelika, the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau, Auburn University, the City of Birmingham, the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the BJCC,” he concluded. “This event not only highlights our football student-athletes and coaches, but provides an opportunity for members of bands, spirit programs, and the entire communities that these schools represent to be showcased annually at our state’s most iconic venues for which the AHSAA is truly grateful.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn