Nathan Stubbs

Top 28 tournament staying in Lafayette

by Nathan Stubbs

Last month, it seemed the boys Top 28 state high school basketball tournament was bound for Shreveport. That was following the LHSAA executive committee’s decision to reject the lone bid for the tournament from the Cajundome based on its $55,000 facility fee and open up the bid process again to allow for Shreveport’s CenturyTel Arena to enter the picture. LHSAA Commissioner Kenny Henderson told The Independent that the Cajundome’s facility fee was unacceptable. The dome says it needs the facility fee to stem financial losses.

In the new round of bids, the Cajundome’s facility fee was $50,000, compared to no charge in bids from the CenturyTel Arena and New Orleans’ Lakefront Arena. However, Lafayette officials were able to sell committee members on the centralized location and community support that has made the tournament a success in Lafayette. The Advocate reports Commissioner Kenny Henderson telling the committee, “When you look at it in terms of distance, population and proximity, Lafayette is in the best interest of our schools. Shreveport would be in the best interest of the LHSAA, financially, but only if attendance is the same.” The Cajundome holds eight of the tournament’s top 10 attendance records.