City, TSU lobby to host AISA sports event

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 26, 2000

Sports Editor

May 25, 2000 10 PM

There could be thousands of guests coming for a couple of days in late November.

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While that sounds like an absolute nightmare for anyone laying out the red carpet all by themselves, it’s a dream come true for a university, a city and the city’s merchants.

The Alabama Independent School Association is deliberating on a site for its 2000 Football Championships. The program will be set up much like the Super 6 program used in the public school system (played in Birmingham) with all three classifications of schools playing the title game of the playoffs on the same day at a neutral location.

The date has been set for Friday, Nov. 17. Now all that is left is to name the site and let the teams begin preparations to make it to the Championships.

The AISA committee in charge of deciding on the site has chosen Troy and Selma as potential host cities and will make a final decision on or around June 14. While Selma already hosts numerous AISA Championship and All-Star events in numerous sports, Troy State has never hosted, but has been considered many times.

As far as city and university officials are concerned, this type of event, which will bring numberous people to Troy State and the city itself, is a win-win situation for all concerned.

For the city and local businesses the championship would mean thousands of patrons. For Troy State, it’s a chance to show off the fine facilities the school has to offer and possibly recruit future college students.

"We’re excited about anything that we can do in the city of Troy in cooperation with Troy State to bring lots of people into town," Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said. "They will be staying in our hotels, eating in our resturants, buying gas, you name it."

The university also notes there are some definite benefits to being picked.

"We would be extremely excited about hosting the event mainly because there are a lot of students in the private schools that we would like to recruit to go to Troy State," TSU Athletic Director Johnny Williams said. "It gives us a chance to show them what a great thing we have here."

The city and the university will go hand in hand across the finish line as winners in the long run after such an event. With six different sets of teams, fans, cheerleaders, bands and family following their schools to the championships, it is a great opportunity for all.

"It’s good for us (the city) in a revenue producing standpoint, but it’s also good for the exposure Troy State will get in bringing all these young kids here," Lunsford said. "They will get to see TSU and see the facilities it has. They will also hopefully see the friendliness of our community and want to come here to school."

"We’re all in this together and we’re just glad that the city has helped us in developing the facilities over the years to attract something like this," Williams said. "It helps us as a university, but moreso it helps the community of Troy and TSU as a whole."