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Expanded College Football Playoff Plan Makes Moving Bryant-Denny and Jordan-Hare Stadiums out of Super 7 Rotation Necessary

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MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA), in coordination with the cities of Tuscaloosa, Auburn and Opelika, have agreed to remove The University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium and Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium from the Super 7 High School Football Championships host site rotation.”

The action became necessary due to the new expanded College Football Playoff plan that could require both schools to host playoff games in the future which would conflict with the AHSAA’s annual Super 7 football championships.

“We are grateful to the cities of Tuscaloosa, Auburn and Opelika, Auburn University, the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports and Auburn-Opelika Tourism for joining together to host our Super 7 since the rotation began in 2009,” said AHSAA Executive Director Alvin Briggs. “The experiences and memories provided for our member schools, the teams, their students, and communities have been immeasurable. We understand, however, the conflicts  that will be unavoidable in the future based on the expanded  CFA playoff structure and format.”

Birmingham and Protective Stadium, which hosts the Super 7 Championships next December, will remain in the AHSAA Super 7 host rotation, and the AHSAA is continuing to study other rotation options as well, said Briggs.

All parties regret the necessity for this rotation coming to an end.

Auburn Mayor Ron Anders, Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said their communities have enjoyed hosting the Super 7 Championships and understand the positive impact the  games have had on their cities as well as the lasting experiences and memories that have been afforded the state’s high school student-athletes, their schools, and communities at the same time.

“Hosting the Super 7 has been a tremendous honor for the City of Auburn,” Anders said, “The Super 7 serves as a pinnacle moment in the lives of many young students in Alabama. Our city has treated this hosting responsibility with the same level of professionalism that regular visitors to any local athletic event, conference, performance, or family gathering have come to expect. Our community has similarly served the teams, families, and other Super 7 visitors with a personal investment of time and effort that characterizes the Auburn Spirit.”
Maddox said his city embraced hosting the Super 7 Championships.

“The City of Tuscaloosa has proudly hosted many Alabama High School Athletic Association Super 7 State Football Championships since 2009, providing countless athletes, coaches, family members, and fans with an unforgettable football experience,” Maddox said. “Although Tuscaloosa and Auburn will no longer be able to host due to the expansion of the College Football Playoffs, we are grateful for our partnership with AHSAA and look forward to seeing the event thrive across other cities in Alabama.”

Fuller said his city was glad to be a part of providing such life-long memories for the student-athletes, their schools, and communities.

“The city of Opelika is honored to have been a part of the Super 7 for many years,” Fuller said. “The experiences had by the athletes, band members, students, cheerleaders, and fans are  priceless. To be under the big lights in a grand stadium is something we all will remember for a lifetime. We are hopeful to one day be back at Jordan-Hare Stadium (for the Super 7).”

“Since 2009, the teams at Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports and Auburn-Opelika Tourism have spared no expense and no amount of manpower ensuring that this event was a memorable one for all participants and spectators,” said Kelsey Rush, president, and CEO of Tuscaloosa  Tourism.  “Helping manage the event from start to finish with the help of those partners already mentioned has been an honor and a privilege.”

Anders, Maddox and Fuller agree that hosting the Super 7 event has been the  result of many moving parts – with several groups working hand in hand.

“I want to thank Auburn University for allowing this event to integrate with the campus environment during traditional class days,” Anders said. “Thank you to Auburn University’s Athletic Department for their unwavering support of our partnership and complete commitment to providing a “Game Day Experience” for every Super 7 contest. A special word of thanks to Jeremy Roberts and his team at Auburn Athletics — they made each championship game feel like a SEC Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. In addition, thank you to Eric Kleypas and his staff for providing a first-class playing surface for the Super 7.

“Tiger Transit provided crucial assistance as we brought thousands of visitors to campus while Auburn University students attended their final week of classes. And in “a tradition that is uniquely Auburn,” a huge debt of gratitude to the Auburn University Raptor Center for allowing the eagle flight before every championship game.”

Anders also praised the local law enforcement.

“No activity of this scale can be successful without the protection of local law enforcement.” Anders said, “The Auburn Police Department was on site from the arrival of the first team and did not depart Jordan-Hare until the scoreboard was turned off. Outside of the stadium, APD directed traffic and provided police escorts to each team as they made their way to campus and into Jordan-Hare Stadium. Thanks to the men and women who protect us every day in our community. You are the best!

Each of the host communities relied on their passionate volunteers to provide the best experience possible for all schools participating.

“We owe a special “thank you” to our volunteers that furnished an enthusiastic effort to the Super 7,” Anders added. “They served as team hosts and cheerleader and band liaisons. They led Super 7 Tiger Walks, unloaded team equipment, and supplied meals to those who were working the event. They were the Public Address team, Press Box staff and sideline and locker room detail. Whatever the task at hand, these selfless volunteers were ready to serve.”

    The cities’ leaders agreed that participating in the Super 7 Championships taught them much about the AHSAA’s education-based athletic experience.

“The Super 7 exposes our state to the best of Alabama,” Anders said. “Talented youth, dedicated coaches, outstanding administrators, devoted families, and faithful communities … It’s been a great responsibility to host this celebration of all that is great about the State of Alabama. We wish all the best to the future of the Super 7.”

Briggs said the AHSAA is indebted to its Super 7 partners. “Having two of the nation’s biggest rivals come together with their cities to provide the opportunity of a lifetime for our member schools is priceless and we can’t thank them enough.

“What we have been able to do with our championships thanks to the cooperation of such rivals has been envied in other states and set a wonderful example for all of us.”