A place in the BlueCross Bowl is at stake as 24 Tennessee high school football teams battle Friday in TSSAA semi-final playoff games. Winners will follow the "Road to Cookeville" for the state championship games at Tennessee Tech's Tucker Stadium, December 1-3.
At each of this week's games across the state, ambassadors from Cookeville's BlueCross Bowl Host Committee will be in attendance to provide championship game information to fans and students. These ambassadors will have hotel and restaurant information for fans as well as for school officials.
The ambassadors will be set up in a visible location at each stadium to answer questions about Cookeville and the games. Championship game tickets will be given to the winning school to make available for purchase during game week.
"Over 40 Cookeville volunteers serve as ambassadors and take care of each winning team as they head to the BlueCross Bowl," said BlueCross Bowl Steering Committee Chairman Don Viar. "They will be available to their team to provide hotel and catering info, answer questions about game day, and will even stay on the sidelines for any game time issues."
Almost 40,000 fans will visit the city of Cookeville and the Tennessee Tech campus to enjoy an experience built around the students participating in these games - players, bands, spirit squads, and fans. For most of these students, it's a once in a lifetime experience, and everyone in Cookeville and at Tennessee Tech work together to produce a first-class event for them.
"We promised TSSAA when bidding on these games eight years ago that we would provide a Division I Bowl-like experience for these student athletes," said TTU Athletics Director Mark Wilson. "From the police escort to game operation, we provide these players with the experience of a lifetime, and we love being able to do that for them."
Cookeville is located on Interstate 40, 70 miles east of Nashville. The most direct route to the stadium is to take Exit 286 and follow Willow Avenue for three miles north to the university campus. Fans who come to the BlueCross Bowl will be able to take advantage of Cookeville's 1,400 hotel rooms, more than 100 restaurants, and hundreds of retail opportunities. Tennessee Tech has 10,492 students on a 235-acre campus. Tucker Stadium seats 16,500 and has an artificial turf surface.
Championship games will be played as follows: Thursday, December 1, Division II classes 1A and 2A; Friday, December 2, Division I classes 1A, 3A, and 5A; Saturday, December 3, Division I classes 2A, 4A, and 6A. Tickets are $12 per day. Tickets purchased the week of the game at participating schools are $10.
TSSAA's BlueCross Bowl in Cookeville is a combined effort between the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau, City of Cookeville, Putnam County, and Tennessee Tech University.