Cedar Rapids Lands Part Of The 2024 State Baseball Tournament
The city of Cedar Rapids hasn't played host to the state baseball tournament in my lifetime. The last time tournament games were played here was the year of my birth, 1974. So yes...it's been a while. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the Iowa High School Athletic Association announced on Monday that a portion of the 2024 tournament will be played in Cedar Rapids.
Veterans Memorial Stadium, the home of this year's Midwest League Champion Cedar Rapids Kernels, will also be the host site for the Class 3A and 4A portions of the state tournament, according to the Gazette. Games in class 1A and 2A will continue to be held in Carroll. The tournament is scheduled for July 22-26th. Officials with the IHSAA stated that Cedar Rapids features an "excellent facility, staff, and community welcoming our schools and student-athletes."
The Gazette points out that the contract with the city of Cedar Rapids is for only one year. Banks Field in Iowa City hosted the 3A and 4A games that past three years, however, renovations on the facility following the University of Iowa's 2024 season will make it unavailable. Principal Park in Des Moines was the long-time host of the tournament but ended its run in 2020. The Gazette reports that Sioux City also put in a bid for the 2024 tournament.
At this point, it isn't clear if Cedar Rapids is interested in the tournament beyond 2024. Tourism officials with the city told the Gazette that they are not yet looking beyond 2024. The availability of Veterans Memorial Stadium was contingent on the Kernel's schedule for next year. Major League Baseball just released that schedule and the dates lined up for state baseball to return to Cedar Rapids.