Fri Feb 12th, 2021
Special to the Drum
Tags: 2021 CHSAA State Wrestling Championships, 2021 State Basketball Championships, Ball Arena, CHSAA Championship, Denver Coliseum, joel priest, Rhonda Blanford-Green, The Broadmoor World Arena, University of Denver’s Hamilton Gymnasium
On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Board of Directors gave its approval for the 2021 CHSAA State Wrestling Championships to be held in Pueblo at the Southwest Motors Events Center on the Colorado State Fairgrounds, according to an association press release.
The announcement came not even a full week after the decision was made to relocate the 2021 State Basketball Championships – the spectacle’s 100th edition, in fact – to The Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, in a partnership with the 501(c)3 non-profit Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, backers of the Springs-based State Cross-Country Championships since 2019.
“We are honored to collaborate once again with CHSAA on the prestigious All-Class State Basketball Championships and the CHSAA Spirit Championships,” CSSC CEO Tom Osborne said in a different CHSAA press release. “The potential for future CHSAA events in Colorado Springs is very exciting.”
“We know the experience at The Broadmoor World Arena will be a special one as it is one of the state’s premier athletic facilities,” CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green stated in the same release. “In the time of a pandemic, to have a civic-minded group step up to sponsor these events is pretty special.”
The 30th State Spirit Championships will take over BWA – rather than, say, the Denver Coliseum – from March 25-27.
Concentrated in one spot as opposed to various venues for various classifications – such as Loveland’s Budweiser Events Center for Class 2A, the University of Denver’s Hamilton Gymnasium for 3A, etc. – the State Basketball Championships will be held March 19-20 with all five classes of boys’ and girls’ championship games occurring.
During the Friday session, the 2A boys and girls, 4A boys and girls and 5A girls will each crown champions; the 1A boys and girls, 3A boys and girls and 5A boys will complete their respective seasons during the Saturday session. All other rounds – such as the Sweet 16, Great Eight and Final Four – will be played at each pairing’s higher seed.
Chosen for wrestling’s March 12-13 ultimate wrap-up instead of traditional site Ball Arena (formerly Pepsi Center) in Denver, the SMEC has hosted CHSAA state- and regional-round basketball and cheer competitions before, and can fit multiple mats on its floor. During a typical – meaning non-COVID – year, the facility has a permanent seating capacity of 3,264; BWA maxes out at nearly 8,100 for sporting events.
“Providing a culminating event with the CHSAA Championship experience is a goal for all CHSAA-sanctioned events during this season,” Assistant Commissioner Adam Bright, former athletic director at Durango, said in the corresponding release. “The City of Pueblo has played host to multiple CHSAA events in the past, and provides an excellent venue to continue the championship experience during this 2021 wrestling season.”