LAKE CHARLES, La. (June 5, 2013)-Southwest Louisiana is quickly becoming "championship central" for Louisiana high school athletics!  The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) are pleased to announce the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) has chosen the Burton Coliseum Complex to be the home of both the Boys and Girls High School State Basketball Championships for 2014 and 2015.  Both championships will take place over the first two weeks of March.

This is the first time the Burton Coliseum Complex has hosted the semi-finals and finals basketball games. This format is expected to produce a large economic impact for the community.

"For the two week period of the basketball championships, LHSAA projects over 80,000 people will be enjoying our restaurants, accommodations, attractions and sports facilities in Calcasieu Parish," said Shelley Johnson, executive director of the CVB. "The CVB and Calcasieu Parish Police Jury worked hand in hand to put together a competitive bid last month.  This is a tremendous amount of exposure for the entire area, and we couldn't be more thrilled to host the students and their families."

"Last year the Police Jury made a commitment to our community when the Burton Property Tax was renewed that we would be expanding the number of events and activities at the Burton Complex, and getting the basketball tournament finals are a testament to that commitment," said Shannon Spell, president of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.  "We look forward to working with the CVB and other community partners in making sure these championships are successful."

Additionally, the LHSAA board also voted to hold all State High School Baseball Semi-Finals and Finals in Sulphur at McMurry Park in May 2014 and 2015.   Southwest Louisiana has hosted four classes of baseball for the last two years.

"This is the baseball equivalent to Fast Pitch 56," said Johnson.  "I think the LHSAA board believes in the hard work and dedication that SPAR, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, hotel community, area volunteers and the CVB put into making phenomenal events and stellar sports facilities."  More information on the tournaments will be provided in the upcoming months.

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