ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) - Thursday the girls state basketball tournament kicks off in Ashwaubenon.
The WIAA moved into the Resch Center Wednesday, to put its finishing touches on the venue.
The Resch Center has secured the tournament for two years, but as event managers say never get a second shot at a first impression.
"We have been working on this for 18 months, so it is nice to finally get here. It creeps up on you, all of a sudden it is here" says Ken Wachter, President of PMI.
Wednesday Brown County crews patched the walkways in front of the venue, while crews inside were busy hanging signs and adding decals to the court.
The WIAA admits it is putting extra effort into making this tournament shine, to convince skeptics who thought it should stay in Madison.
"I took that as a personal challenge to put some personal touches on this event that we do not normally do at our tournament to show the girls, basketball coaches, fans that this is potentially a home for their tournament" says Deb Hauser, Associate Director for WIAA.
She is not worried about the change of venue.
"I think we could probably play a state tournament in the parking lot and the kids, the players and their parents would be excited" Hauser says.
Last year's tournament sold just over 30,000 tickets total.
This year is on track to break records with over 21,000 tickets already sold to fans like Frank Bowerman.
"I live in Algoma and some of these girls I have refereed, because I am a WIAA official" he says.
"Come and watch the games. I think in the end if attendance is good they will sign a long term agreement to stay, but it comes down to having people in the seats" says Wachter.
Months of hard work making sure securing this tournament does not come down to a buzzer beater.
For a closer look at the brackets and ticket information click here.