TSSAA BlueCross Bowl contract renewed; Tech promises state-of-the-art videoboard before 2017 games
COOKEVILLE – A championship effort was made Thursday afternoon as a delegation of Cookeville and Putnam County leaders offered a rebid to the TSSAA Board of Control in an effort to remain the home of the BlueCross Bowl games for the next four years. Bid proposals and presentations were provided by the cities of Cookeville and Clarksville, with hosting privileges for 2017-2020 being awarded to Cookeville and Tennessee Tech University.
Having hosted the high school football championships over the past eight years, the Cookeville presentation focused on the heart and hospitality for which the city is so well known in hosting sporting events.
The rebid efforts were led by Tennessee Tech Athletic Director Mark Wilson who will assume the role as 2017 BlueCross Bowl steering committee chairman.
“We are humbled and thrilled that the TSSAA Board of Control has entrusted Cookeville and Tennessee Tech to continue hosting the BlueCross Bowl for another four years,” Wilson said. “We feel we’ve created a standard of excellence by providing a Division I bowl-like experience for Tennessee’s student athletes, their fans and families and look forward to the ongoing partnership with the TSSAA board and its staff to take the experience to an even higher level.”
The package presented also offered the same financial guarantee as recent years of $253,000 and promised continued facility enhancements to Tucker Stadium. A rendering was shown in regards to a state-of-the-art videoboard that will be installed before the 2017 kick-off. Wilson also noted that 30 percent of funding has been identified for an extensive stadium renovation.
Wilson was joined by Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton, Putnam County Executive Randy Porter, Chamber President/CEO George Halford, Visitors Bureau Chairman Ben Prine, Cookeville Hotelier Karla Clarke, and TTU Head Football Coach Marcus Satterfield. TTU President Philip Oldham presented via video due to scheduling conflicts.
“We want to re-emphasize our community’s commitment to TSSAA, to the coaches and student athletes from across the state,” Halford said. “With 750 volunteers, it is apparent that we can offer an unparalleled athletic hospitality and take pride in rolling out the red carpet each December for our 40,000 BlueCross Bowl participants and fans.
“Champions are made here and will continue to be made here,” he added. “All roads still lead to Cookeville.”
Cookeville will also continue as host for December’s Toyota East vs. West All-Star Classic, the all-star high school football game coordinated by the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association the week following the BlueCross Bowl games.
TSSAA’s BlueCross Bowl in Cookeville is a combined effort between the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, City of Cookeville, Putnam County, and Tennessee Tech University.