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UIL's Big Move

93-year-old event abandons Austin citing traffic and SXSW

UIL Medals
UIL will leave Austin after nearly a century. Courtesy of UIL

After serving as host city for nearly 100 years, Austin will no longer be the site for the University Interscholastic League (UIL) championship basketball tournament. The UIL Legislative Council continued a discussion on moving the tournament to the San Antonio Alamodome during a meeting on June 11.

The tournament, which is held at the Frank Erwin Center, has been largely overshadowed in recent years by SXSW’s rising popularity, as both events take place at the same time. This timing conflict has resulted in a significant decline in both revenue and attendance in recent years. At its peak, the tournament sold a recorded 100,000 tickets. The UIL has seen attendance drop to 70,000 in the last decade.

As the Austin American-Statesman notes, last year, teams were confronted with exceedingly expensive hotel rates, causing some players to stay as far away as Marble Falls in order to compete in the tournament. Austin’s gridlocked traffic was another contributing factor in the championship’s relocation.

The move to the Alamodome was approved at yesterday’s meeting. Venues in Houston and Dallas were also suggested, but were later ruled out due to scheduling conflicts.

Tickets for the 2015 tournament will not be available for purchase until the Legislative Council has secured a contract agreement for the Alamodome.

This will be the championship’s first move out of Austin since its inaugural game in 1921.

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