The awesome local sports culture in Greater Lansing will be on display in full force this weekend as the GLSA and Michigan State University proudly host the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) State Finals in Boys Baseball, Girls Softball and Girls Soccer, June 13-15, 2019!
“Our association is the first in the nation, that we’re aware of, to hold three championship events simultaneously, at the same complex, for the price of a single ticket,” said Andrea Osters, MHSAA Assistant Director. “We’re thrilled to provide this experience for our student-athletes, schools and fans. It’s an incredible sight on Saturday when all three fields are in use with championship games being played in baseball, softball and girls soccer.”
While state finals competition for soccer had been in the area for a number of years, utilizing soccer facilities at Williamston High School, as of 2014 boys baseball and girls softball state finals hadn’t been held in Greater Lansing in a very long time. Upon completion of major upgrades to soccer, softball and baseball facilities at Michigan State University, the stage was set for the Greater Lansing Sports Authority to team with MSU to bid on bringing baseball and softball for this high impact state finals trifecta. Thankfully the bid was accepted and Greater Lansing is now in its sixth year of hosting these high-profile prep tournaments.
“Our pitch to the MHSAA was that we felt we could create a festival-type atmosphere by hosting all of these great prep sport state finals on the same weekend,” said Meghan Ziehmer, Associate Executive Director of the GLSA. “Spectators can enter the complex and pay $8 dollars and watch top competition in one, or all three, of these great sports.”
The GLSA does a lot more to make this tournament happen than just submitting a bid to host. During tournament play the GLSA will be handling ticket sales for all three tournaments, hotel bookings for all the qualifying teams, event signage, marketing, promotions and more. “This weekend of sports comes together because of a big important partnership between the GLSA, MSU and the MHSAA,” said Ziehmer. “The GLSA is proud to give a big assist on this event because we know the impact it makes on our community. High-quality tournament play on first-rate facilities is the goal for everyone involved and with hard work, all of that happens right here in Greater Lansing.”
The MHSAA agrees with the GLSA on the value of the partnership. “There are times when it feels like the GLSA handles everything other than balls and strikes for us,” continued Osters with the MHSAA. “Truly a full-service outfit; the GLSA staff greets patrons on their way into the park and on the way out. They work with hotel properties to secure the best rates for our teams and fans. They supply us with terrific volunteer staff who are always smiling, rain or shine. We consider ourselves lucky to have such a solid partner for our mid-Michigan tournament events.”
The MHSAA team was excited to see the upgrades to these MSU athletic facilities, both for what it meant for Greater Lansing, and for potential future tournament play. Holding these tournaments in Lansing means easier logistics for the hard-working staff of the MHSAA.
“While we love our ‘destination’ tournament venues, our staff is always happy to be close to home. We sleep in our own beds, our family and friends usually attend the event, and it’s great to have our office resources so close in proximity,” continued Osters. “There’s an added benefit for this event, too – MHSAA staff on-site have a chance to work together on the same event, while much of our other tournament work is done in separate locations.”
Tournament surfaces are not only close to home for the MHSAA, they are best-in-class.
“Michigan State University has made great improvements to all three facilities in the time we’ve held this event here – the addition of lights on the baseball and softball fields this year helps our contingency planning, to be sure,” said Osters. “MSU also has, in our opinion, the BEST grounds crew and event management staff anywhere. Our competing teams and their fans benefit greatly from their tremendous efforts over the three days of this event.”
For those seeking to attend the tournament games and looking for specifics on where and when for each individual sport please check the links below.
2019 High School Baseball Finals
June 13-15, 2019
McLane Stadium, MSU
2019 High School Softball Finals
June 13-15, 2019
Secchia Stadum, MSU
2019 High School Girls Soccer Finals
June 14-15, 2019
DeMartin Soccer Complex, MSU
*Photo Credit Michigan High School Athletic Association.