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OHSAA agrees to extension with MAPFRE Stadium for soccer

By JAKE FURR Reflector Sports Editor jakefurr@norwalkreflector.com • Updated Oct 18, 2016 at 8:57 PM

COLUMBUS – MAPFRE Stadium and the Ohio High School Athletic Association have signed a five-year contract extension that ensures the OHSAA’s championship matches will be played at the home of Columbus Crew SC through 2020. The 2016 matches are set to take place at MAPFRE Stadium on November 12 and 13.

“As the most iconic soccer stadium in the United States, our venue takes great pride in serving as the official home of the OHSAA State Soccer Finals and our five-year extension will continue yet another great soccer tradition in our historic home,” said Columbus Crew SC President of Business Operations Andy Loughnane. “Hosting this important event furthers our goal of developing soccer in the State of Ohio and we are honored to work alongside the OHSAA to ensure that the boys' and girls' state championships are played at MAPFRE Stadium.”

The 2016 girls' soccer championship matches will be held on Saturday, November 12, with the boys' 2016 championship matches to be held on Sunday, November 13. The championship matches for girls on Saturday kick-off at 2:00, 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. ET, while the boys' kickoff times on Sunday are slated for 12:00, 3:30 and 7:00 p.m. ET. Gates on both days are set to open one hour before the first match.

Participating teams are to be determined following the completion of the regional brackets, to be held throughout October and into early November across the state. All ticketing information for the general public and credentialing information for media will be released at a later date.

ABOUT MAPFRE STADIUM

MAPFRE Stadium is the first ever soccer-specific stadium in Major League Soccer (pronounced “MAH-fray" Stadium). It opened its doors on May 15, 1999 to a sellout crowd for a match against the New England Revolution. It has hosted numerous national and international events: nine U.S. Soccer FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – specifically four consecutive “Dos a Cero” victories for the U.S. over Mexico (2001, 2005, 2009, 2013) – FIFA Women's World Cup matches, the 2001 MLS Cup, the 2015 MLS Cup, two MLS All-Star Games and a number of concerts, including the annual three-day festival Rock on the Range, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean. It was named the world's most influential stadium of the decade by Stadia Magazine in 2010, and has won a Sports Turf Managers Association Field of the Year Award in 2010, 2013 and 2015. In 2008, the venue added a permanent stage in the North End, allowing for up to 35,000 fans to take in concerts and other marquee events. MAPFRE Stadium received its current name in a historic partnership announced just before the 2015 MLS season. For more information, visit www.MAPFREStadium.com.

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