No Metrodome means changes to Prep Bowl
By John Millea, MSHSL
The Minnesota State High School League board of directors on Thursday approved the timing of the Prep Bowl for the 2014 season, which will be the first year of an anticipated two-year stretch in which the football state championship games will be played at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.
TCF Bank Stadium will be used for those two years after the Metrodome is torn down and construction progresses on a new stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The MSHSL has to work around the university’s own football schedule, so the 2014 Prep Bowl will be played Nov. 21-22, which is the Friday-Saturday prior to Thanksgiving instead of the traditional Thanksgiving weekend games.
In another change — also because of the availability of TCF Bank Stadium — state semifinals will not be played at the same site as the Prep Bowl. In 2014 and 2015 those games will be played at various sites throughout the state, much as the current state quarterfinals are held.
There is more uncertainty about the 2015 Prep Bowl schedule, as well as the entire 2015 football season. That’s because TCF Bank Stadium will only be available for the Prep Bowl two weekends before Thanksgiving. That raises questions such as: Should the regular season start two weeks earlier? Should the playoffs be shortened? Should the regular season be seven games instead of eight? Should the Prep Bowl games be played at indoor stadiums in Fargo or Grand Forks, North Dakota?
The board made no decisions about the 2015 football season at Thursday’s meeting. More information will be gathered before such decisions will be made.