Get this: The four semifinalists in the recent Division I boys private-school state high-school basketball tournament in the commonwealth were from Northern Virginia.
Yet those teams had to travel some two hours away to Virginia State University in Colonial Heights on a Friday night, on the always heavily-congested and accident-prone Route 95 no less, to play in the recent final four. Then, two teams played there again in the championship contest.
It makes no sense.
When such situations occur, there should be an option included in the tournament agreement to change and move the site of the semifinals and championship games from a far-away venue to much closer to where those four teams are located. Have a site prearranged just in case.
With the four Northern Virginia teams – Bishop O’Connell, Episcopal, Paul VI Catholic and St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes – playing in Colonial Heights in the semifinals, few spectators, other than parents and family, attended. Certainly there were no large student sections.
If those two games had been played somewhere in Northern Virginia on a Friday evening, the crowds would have been gigantic, including quite large student sections.
The same situation has occurred often in other private state-tournament sports over the years, yet the venues haven’t been changed. Last spring, the local O’Connell and Potomac School girls softball teams had to travel to Petersburg to play the state final.
If a change of venue was permitted, in these cases, maybe organizers and sponsors at the original tournament site would be able to keep a significant percentage of any money from concessions and attendance.
By changing venues, so many more would not be cheated of the opportunity to watch those games in person. It’s silly not to make that change.