After both Greenwich and New Canaan officials made their cases — as well as “heavy online ticket sales” the CIAC decided to move the Class LL state championship football game from Shelton High to Boyle Stadium in Stamford.
The CIAC released a statement on Wednesday afternoon citing that with heavy online ticket sales, it created “concerns of the ability of the site to accommodate multiple high-attendance games at one venue.”
Tuesday morning it was announced that the Class LL and Class M state championships will be at Shelton High School at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and then Class L and Class S finals would be played at Veterans Stadium at Willowbrook Park in New Britain, at the same times.
Immediately after the announcement on Tuesday both sides wanted to have the game moved to Boyle Stadium because it would be an easier drive for both fan bases and Boyle Stadium could hold more fans.
“It’s just common sense,” New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli told GameTimeCT yesterday. “People from New Canaan and Greenwich are not going to drive to Shelton to watch the game. So many more people will see this game if it’s in Stamford. And people want to see this game, I mean, I’d pay to see this game. Aside from all the other stuff, it’s just two really good teams going at. The more people that can see it in person, the better.”
The Class LL championship game between Greenwich and New Canaan will be played at 10 a.m.
The Class M championship game between St. Joseph and Berlin will remain and Shelton, but will be moved back to 2 p.m. to keep two games at 10 a.m. and two games at 2 p.m., on Saturday.
Boyle Stadium has hosted two state championship games since 2013. New Canaan and Darien played in the Class L championship, a 44-12 win for New Canaan, in 2013 and last season Darien defeated Greenwich 31-22 in the Class LL championship game.
Normally the CIAC said it would not change the locations on predetermined locations, but this was this is a special circumstance.
“CIAC policy remains to not alter championship predetermined venues or schedules based on the geography or requests of the participants, but in this instance the circumstances of having a predetermined site change late in the process and another venue becoming available led to the decision to make this change,” CAS-CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said in a statement. “As always, the focus is on providing the best and most appropriate championship experience possible for the qualifying teams, and we believe this decision provides that opportunity and we are grateful for those facilities that have offered their sites for our championship contests.”