Lafayette, Cajundome Secure Rights to LHSAA Volleyball Tournament
One of the goals of Cajundome officials, Lafayette tourism executives, and local volleyball organizers was to leave a lasting impression on the Louisiana High School Athletic Association during the 2021 State Volleyball Championships.
The city and the venue stepped up at the last minute to host the tournament after Hurricane Ida rendered the event's usual home, the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, unable to host. Despite the four-weeks' notice, a scheduling conflict with UL women's basketball, and questions as to whether organizers would be able to secure the proper equipment to run three courts simultaneously, the Cajundome, the city, and organizers succeeded in hosting the tournament without any problems.
The LHSAA noticed that success and has moved its volleyball tournament to Lafayette for the next three years. In a press release, LHSAA officials say they signed a contract with the Cajundome to keep the prep volleyball championships in the Hub City through 2024.
"We are thrilled to announce that the LHSAA Volleyball State Tournament will be moving to the Cajundome in Lafayette," LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said. "The Cajundome and Lafayette Travel staff have been tremendously supportive in planning with the LHSAA to provide a first-class experience for our student athletes and benefit our participating schools. We look forward to our partnership to provide a fantastic volleyball experience over the next three years."
Sources close to the 2021 tournament organizers tell us that the event set an attendance record for the LHSAA State Volleyball Tournament. More than 14,000 people attended the three-day tournament.
"We had a great feeling that once the organizers saw what the event could look like in the Cajundome, we would have a good shot at getting it back, and that is exactly what happened," Lafayette Travel president/CEO Ben Berthelot said. "It was an incredible venue for the volleyball championships, and we look forward to putting on a great event for the next three years at least.”
This is the fourth LHSAA state championship event to make Lafayette its home. Earlier this year, the LHSAA moved two of its select high school football championship games to Cajun Field. Next month, the LHSAA's select basketball championships will be played in the Cajundome. And in late April, the LHSAA will bring its select softball tournament to Lafayette.
The 2022 LHSAA State Volleyball Tournament is scheduled to take place November 9-12. The 2023 tournament is set for November 8-11. The 2024 event will take place November 13-16.