With Washburn University closing their campus for the summer, the Kansas Shrine Bowl is looking for a new venue to host this summer’s annual Shrine Bowl game.
The annual football game, comprised of all-star players from around the state, was scheduled for July 18 at Yager Stadium, home of Ichabod football.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to host the Shrine Bowl football game this year,” said Jerry Farley, Washburn University president. “However, we are proud to be a part of the important work of the network raising money to support Shriners Hospitals for Children.”
In the past, players have stayed in the resident halls and use the dining hall facilities leading up to the game. With those also being closed, that is a deciding factor.
Topeka last hosted the Shrine Bowl in 2013.
"This is a tremendous setback for our event, but we certainly understand the concerns and ultimate decision made by Washburn University leadership," B.J. Harris, executive director of the Kansas Shrine Bowl, said.
El Dorado and Butler Community College last hosted the event in July 2017.
“We definitely hope to return to Topeka in the future," Harris said. "There has been so much work already put in by so many wonderful people at Washburn, Visit Topeka, Ramada Inn and more. We hope to reward their efforts by bringing our event to the Capital City soon."
More than football happens during the Week of the Shrine Bowl. The bowl week also includes the Kansas Masonic All-State Marching Band Camp, Kansas Shrine Bowl All-Star Cheer Camp, Kansas’ Kansas’ largest shrine parade, Sports-In-Kansas High School Football Combine, Strong Legs Run 5K, Jr. All-Star Challenge, golf tournament, appreciation banquet, and more.
The Kansas Shrine Bowl Board of Directors are still hopeful they can find a host location in time for the 2020 event.
“The phased approach to opening is different throughout the state, based on the severity of cases in each region. We’re still hopeful we can find a venue and host city that hasn’t been impacted as greatly and might be closer to being able to accommodate a large event this summer,” Harris said.