El Dorado Host of 2017 Shrine Bowl
17 Feb, 2015
A process of elimination leaves El Dorado as host of the 2017 Shrine Bowl.
Last weekend Dodge City, Wichita and El Dorado all gave presentations to the Kansas Shrines Board of Governors. The Wichita Sports Commission and the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau each received letters on Thursday.
"The letter was vague," said Jan Stevens, executive director of the CVB. "It thanked us for our bid.
"It was from Sarah Van Petten, the executive director of the Shrine Bowl, and it said she looked forward to working with us on future bids."
Bob Hanson of the Wichita Sports Commission also confirmed receiving the letter.
"Yeah, we got a thanks, but no thanks letter from them," he said. "It was exactly like the one Dodge City got."
Van Petten later emailed the Dodge City Daily Globe.
"The location has not been announced, but will be on Monday," she said.
A phone call to Jennifer Cook, the El Dorado city employee who gave that city's presentation, was not returned. Cook told media members of the Butler County Times-Gazette that she could not confirm anything until next week's announcement.
Unconfirmed reports of El Dorado getting the Shrine Bowl came out on Thursday. A Shriner from east Kansas, who asked not to be identified, told the Dodge City Daily Globe that Dodge City wouldn't be named a host city due to several reasons.
The Shriner said with no active Shrine chapters in the city and several large chapters in eastern Kansas that the "western" game may never go west of Wichita.
El Dorado is northeast of Wichita.
The football game will be held at Butler County Community College's new stadium and football players and coaches will stay on campus.
The annual Kansas Shriners Banquet, which would have been held at United Wireless Arena in Dodge City, will be held at the Butler County Fairgrounds.
Stevens is unsure if Dodge City will continue to pursue future Shrine Bowls.
"I've tried to get ahold of Sarah (Van Petten) just to see what we could improve on," Stevens said. "She hasn't gotten back to me either by email or phone.
"We're not upset about not getting it, we just want to know what we have to do better for next time, if there is a next time."
Since the creation of the Shrine Bowl in 1974, the farthest west the game has been played is Hays and Wichita.