SUNNYSIDE — The Tacoma Dome will no longer be home to the Gridiron Classic championship games.

The news from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association was announced earlier this week, and officials say venues have not yet been decided for the coming football season.

“The dome was cool until it was remodeled,” Sunnyside High School Athletic Director Scott Paine said.

After the remodeling, it was hard for fans to see everything and prices went up, he said.

“They also couldn’t fill the dome, which meant the WIAA had a monetary loss,” Paine said.

The WIAA executive board is evaluating different sites around the state and said the change will likely result in state championship games taking place at various venues.

Paine said that means a neutral site that is more accessible to teams competing is likely to be chosen.

Lower ticket prices will be one of the financial benefits to families of the athletes. So too will be lower concessions costs. People also won’t have to pay the parking fees charged at the Tacoma Dome.

These can all be beneficial to families who are at a lower economic level, Paine said.

“Tradition is good, but there are also several cool high school venues available,” he said.

“I, personally, don’t think this is a bad change,” Paine said.

As of right now, the 4A Hardwood Classic, as well as the Mat Classic (all classifications) will remain at the Sun Dome, but Paine said the basketball tournament contract is due to be reconsidered in the near future.

“Wrestling is the only money maker,” Paine said, noting the dome is filled during that tournament, but not the others.

Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email

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