For the first time in 12 years, football state champions will not be crowned in Orlando.
The FHSAA announced Friday that all eight, high school State championship games will not be played at Camping World Stadium in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Instead, the Class 1A to 3A finalists will play at Gene Cox Stadium. The Class 4A to 8A championships will be held at Daytona Stadium.
In addition to the location change, the State Championship games will be spread out over a two-week time frame, with only one game being played per day. The exception is the final two State Championship games on Saturday, December 14, which will be played at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Exactly which classes will play on which day is still to be determined.
“After listening to feedback from our membership, we felt having two locations stretched out over two weeks made the most sense,” FHSAA Executive Director George Tomyn said. “This new schedule gives families and fans the most flexibility when it comes to supporting their student-athletes and we are thrilled both Visit Tallahassee and DME Marketing made this possible.”
Daytona Stadium previously hosted the championships from 1989 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996. Gene Cox Stadium hosted the 1986 Class 3A Championship. It's the first time multiple locations will be used since 2005.
Both Daytona Stadium (capacity 10,000) and Gene Cox Stadium (capacity 6,500) will offer far more intimate environments than Camping World Stadium (capacity 65,000), something the FHSAA hopes will make the games even more appealing.
The First Coast saw Mandarin (Class 8A) and Raines (Class 4A) win State titles in Orlando last fall.