CLINTON – Hattiesburg and the University of Southern Mississippi will play host to the pinnacle of high school football in Mississippi this year on December 2-3.
“From the leadership at USM and throughout the City of Hattiesburg to state-wide businesses and fans, we appreciate the support of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Gridiron Classic (MHSAA Football State Championships) and are very happy to be returning for another year,” said MHSAA Executive Director Rickey Neaves.
Last year, the event relocated to USM’s “The Rock” due to Jackson State hosting the SWAC Championship on the same weekend.
“Our friends at USM never blinked when we called and gave less than 45 days of notice that we had a conflict at Veterans Memorial in Jackson,” Neaves added. “As always, they eagerly welcomed us and did a fantastic job helping us showcase our student-athletes and coaches.”
The football state championships attracted more than 40,000 fans over two days and created an estimated $2.3 million economic impact on the Hattiesburg area.
“Hattiesburg is quickly emerging as a sports destination for the state and region. In the last six months alone, our city welcomed fans from across the country for state, regional, and national tournaments,” said Marlo Dorsey, VisitHATTIESBURG executive director. “We are excited to have the MHSAA football championships back to the Hub City for the second year in a row, inviting spectators to enjoy the best of our hotels, restaurants, and attractions while cheering on their hometown teams.”
The 2022 running of the football state championships will mark the last season of the current format before the MHSAA moves to seven classifications for the 2023-2024 seasons.