Old Dominion University will host the Virginia High School League Class 5 and Class 6 state title games for the next two seasons. The games will be played back-to-back at ODU’s S.B. Ballard Stadium.
“We are excited to bring high school football back to the campus of Old Dominion University,” Mike Fryling, District General Manager for Spectra Venue Management, said in a statement. “By partnering with Old Dominion University, Visit Norfolk and Chesapeake Public Schools we are going to create the ultimate gameday experience for VHSL. We look forward to working with VHSL as we prepare to bring the top coaches and athletes from around the state to Old Dominion University.”
ODU’s stadium last hosted high school football games in the 1980s when the venue was known as Foreman Field.
The VHSL has held its state championship games on college campuses for years, including at Virginia, Virginia Tech, Liberty University and Hampton University. The league, which oversees the state’s more than 300 public schools, moved the games to high school sites during its most recent, shortened spring season because of the pandemic.
Oscar Smith High, of Chesapeake, won the Class 6 title in May on its homefield, finishing an unbeaten season with the program’s third state championship.
Norfolk’s Lake Taylor hosted the most recent Class 4 state title game, losing to Salem of southwest Virginia, and Lafayette won the Class 3 championship on its homefield at Wanner Stadium in Williamsburg.
ODU’s stadium seats 22,480 spectators.
“ODU affirmed that having our championships on their campus was important to them and hosting our championships is about more than just playing football,” said Shawn Knight, a VHSL assistant director. “It reflects the institution’s commitment to providing the participating teams and their school communities a lifetime experience. The opportunity to provide that kind of experience is a source of pride for the VHSL thanks to ODU.”