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State baseball tournament moves to Carroll, Iowa City for 2021

State Baseball Newman 43

Newman Catholic vs. Don Bosco during the 2020 Class 1A championship game at Principal Park in Des Moines.

Des Moines' Principal Park, the home of the Iowa Cubs, a Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, has played host to the best teams in the state of Iowa the last 15 years.

When Major League Baseball took over the scheduling for minor league baseball, the Iowa Cubs had a homestand during the week in July that the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IAHSAA) schedules the state baseball tournament.

One site since 2005 will turn into two sites in 2021.

Merchants Park in Carroll will host the final eight teams in Class 1A and 2A, while Duane Banks Field, the home diamond of the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City, will host 3A and 4A.

July 26-29 will be the dates for 1A and 2A. Quarterfinals for 1A will take place on Monday and 2A will play on Tuesday with all four semifinals on Wednesday and the two championship games on Thursday.

For 3A and 4A, the dates for the tournament will be July 28-31. It will be the same format as 1A and 2A.

The two sites were approved by the Board of Control on Thursday. It will be finalized pending approval from the City of Carroll and the University of Iowa, per a release by the IHSAA.

"The last 15 months have been filled with changes and constantly-evolving plans, and this tournament is no exception," IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said in a release. "We’re excited to have two high-quality hosts in Carroll and the University of Iowa where our student-athletes can make memories and compete for state championships."

Carroll has previous experience hosting the state tournament.

In 1970, it was the lone site for the Class A state tournament as well as in 1973. It returned in 1995 when the eight-team format was first introduced and had two of the four classes in town.

Merchants Park was renovated and renamed to its current name in 2011. It seats 1,200 at full capacity. 

Iowa City will host the pair of large classes for the first time ever. Banks Field had a renovation in 2015 and seats 2,300 at full capacity.

Tickets will once again be sold digitally at $10 through the IHSAA tickets page that will cover a two-game session at both sites. Tickets for all sites and sessions will be general admission.

This is a one-year plan. Per the release, there has been no determination for sites or details for future state baseball tournaments.

Zach Martin is a sports reporter for the Globe Gazette. Reach him via email at and follow him on Twitter @zach_martin95.


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