STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WFRV) WIAA officials call it an "honest conflict." The Kohl Center in Madison was booked for key weekends needed for state boys and girls basketball tournaments. But since earlier this year, some of those dates freed up. Others didn't - which is why the WIAA Board voted unanimously to send the girls tournament to Ashwaubenon.
"We don't believe the next best available venue is in Madison, we believe that venue is the Resch Center," says WIAA Associate Director Deb Hauser. Size played a big role in the decision. This year, WIAA says attendance was up by 8,000 for boys games. "Could they even accommodate us at the Resch Center?" questioned Hauser. "It was looking like 3 to 4,000 couldn't gain access to our games."
Extra parking, lower hotel rates for families and a prior relationship were all part of the move. "the Resch Center is there, ready and eager to go. We've seen how they handled the volleyball tournament - a very professional and pleasing manner," adds Mark Gobler with the WIAA Board of Control.
This year and next year's games will be held in Titletown while the boys have a slam dunk in Madison through 2020. A decision on where the girl's tournament will be held beyond 2014 is still up in the air, but officials say a move back to Madison is still a possibility.
"Our commitment right now is... the opportunity for the spot light to shine entirely and exclusively on our girl's tournament," Executive Director Dave Anderson tells us.