Despite the unrest in nearby Ferguson, Missouri’s high school football championships will be held in St. Louis Friday and Saturday.
The 47th year of the Show-Me Bowl, a Thanksgiving weekend tradition, brings 14 teams and hundreds of supporters from all over the state.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association coordinates the event and has been working with St. Louis law enforcement to beef up security. Spokesman Jason West says,”We understand that it’s a fluid situation. We’ve certainly been monitoring the situation in the area for quite some time now. As with all of our championships, we have alternate plans if things need to be changed.”
That includes increased security at the official hotel Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, which is now booked up for the championships and sending overflow guests to other hotels.
“They are bringing in extra personnel and the St. Louis Police Department is bringing in extra personnel to make sure any rallies and things like that are peaceful,” says West.
“Our top priority is the safety of everyone involved and helping assure that they are able to enjoy their time here as they celebrate the accomplishments of their teams. That’s our number one focus right now,” he adds.
West says MSHSAA has had no problems with vendor delays or getting set up for the events.
St. Louis traffic will be heavy, nevertheless, as the football championships take place on two of the busiest shopping days of the year.