GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After a one-year adjustment for COVID-19 safety considerations, the Florida High School Football State Championships will return to a multiple location format in both 2021 and 2022. For 2021, classes 1A-3A will return to Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee, December 9-11 while 4A-8A will be contested December 16-18 at the newly renovated DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
“The FHSAA is thrilled to partner with both the Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale communities to host the 2021 and 2022 Florida High School Football State Championships,” said FHSAA Executive Director, George Tomyn. “Each location is sure to provide a unique and memorable football championship experience to all participating student-athletes and coaches, as well as their travelling fans.”
After most recently hosting in 2019, both Visit Tallahassee and Leon County Schools will welcome the 1A-3A classifications back to the friendly confines of Gene Cox Stadium. With a spectator seating capacity of 6,500, the Tallahassee community stadium underwent significant renovations in 2018 that featured the installation of a new turf field, along with a pair of HD video boards.
“Visit Tallahassee is honored to once again partner with FHSAA to host the class 1A-3A Football State Championships in Florida’s Capital Region,” said Kerri L. Post, Director of Visit Tallahassee/Leon County Division of Tourism. “We look forward to continuing FHSAA’s tradition of providing exceptional championship experiences for their student-athletes, coaches and spectators and welcoming everyone back to Tallahassee in December.”
Game times in Tallahassee will be 7 p.m. each night on Thursday (Dec. 9), Friday (Dec. 10), and Saturday (Dec. 11), with specific classifications to be determined later.
In partnership with Visit Lauderdale, football state championship qualifiers in Classes 4A-8A will be heading to South Florida and the newly renovated DRV PNK Stadium. Set on the site of Fort Lauderdale’s old Lockhart Stadium, DRV PNK Stadium is currently home to Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami CF and its developmental teams. Opened in 2020, DRV PNK Stadium boasts a seating capacity of 18,000 that will offer fans an intimate football viewing experience for the championship event.
The last time the city of Fort Lauderdale and Lockhart Stadium hosted a Florida High School State Championship matchup was in 1973, when Hollywood Hills defeated Raines (Jacksonville) for the Class 4A title. This year, the South Florida community will be hosting a championship matchup for the first time since 2006, when the entire event was held at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens (formerly known as Dolphin Stadium).
“High school football has been a huge part of the Broward County community for decades and it continues to bring people together,” said Stacy Ritter, President/CEO of Visit Lauderdale. “As a proud graduate of Piper High School in Sunrise, Florida, I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the road to the Florida High School Football State Championships end in Fort Lauderdale.”
While specific classification timeslots are yet to be determined, game times in Fort Lauderdale are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday (Dec. 16), and then 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on both Friday (Dec. 17) and Saturday (Dec. 18).
Tickets in both locations will be available for $12 if purchased in advance, and $15 if purchased the day of the game. All matchups will be streamed live via Spectrum Sports. For specific event information regarding each location, as well as information about the FHSAA’s annual Drive to December, please visit the football sport page at FHSAA.com.