High Cost Of Stadium May Force Football Finals To Move

IHSAA Says It Can't Afford To Rent Lucas Oil Again

The state high school football finals may have to find a new place to play because of the high cost of renting out Lucas Oil Stadium.

Indiana High School Athletic Association Commissioner Blake Ress said negotiations are underway between the organization and the Indianapolis Capital Improvements Board, which runs the city's professional sports stadiums.

Last year, the two-day football finals drew 58,000 fans to the new stadium, which the IHSAA paid $100,000 more to use than they had with the RCA Dome, 6News' Derrik Thomas reported.

Paying that price again is out of the organization's budget, Ress said.

"I don't think we can continue to pay the amount we paid last year," he said. "We'd be glad to take it for free, but we are realistic enough to know we have to pay to rent it. We're hoping to negotiate a better deal than we had last year."

Meanwhile, IHSAA officials are considering other venues for the games, including stadiums at Indiana University, Purdue University and Ball State University.

But since the finals are held during the last week in November, Ress said they would prefer the host the games at an indoors facility.

CIB spokeswoman Lou Gerig declined an on-camera interview Friday, but said that there should be some developments by next week.

The CIB is expected to be $35 million short in its operation of Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, Victory Field and the Indiana Convention Center.