State tournaments to stay at Resch Center through 2025

Wisconsin Rapids Assumption and Fall River play in the WIAA girls basketball state tournament, March 11, 2016, at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon. (WLUK/Alexa Santos)

ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- The high school girls basketball and volleyball state tournaments will stay in Northeast Wisconsin at least through the middle of the next decade.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association announced Wednesday that the tournaments will be held at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon through 2025.

The girls state basketball tournament has been at the Resch since 2013. State girls volleyball has been at the Resch since 2002.

In January, the WIAA announced that state boys volleyball will come to the Resch Center beginning next year. A decision on the future of that tournament will be made after a four-year trial run at the Resch Center.

"We are excited to accept and look forward to have our state championships here both for girls basketball, girls volleyball until 2025 and has already been previously announced, bringing our boys volleyball state championship here to the Resch Center," said Dan Anderson, WIAA executive director.

"Certainly, the WIAA championships are a quality attraction so the fact that we're now able to extend that to the year 2025 is great news for PMI Entertainment Group, said Terry Charles, PMI Entertainment Group's corporate communications manager.

PMI manages events at the Resch and adds, offering state tournaments also means more recognition from visitors.

However, past tournaments have shown a lower fan turnout when teams from farther away make it to the Resch.

"It's very hard to put an ad in the newspaper or do radio advertising in their market because we don't know who's coming until two/three days before their actually in the car driving here," said Brad Toll, Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau president/CEO.

Toll says there's an incentive for those teams from farther away to bring more fans to the Resch.

"We created this promotion called 'Rush to the Resch' and each of the communities in each division, they all compete against each other to sell more tickets... in the end the winning school receives a check from the greater Green Bay area for their school to use as they need," Toll said. "The other goal behind that, I mean, it isn’t just about selling tickets. It’s about trying to get as many people in here and make the atmosphere as exciting as it can possibly be for the kids.

Last year's basketball tournament brought nearly 40,000 fans.

Toll says those fans had an economic impact of about $2.5 million in the greater Green Bay area.

The tournament starts Thursday. The Division 3 semifinals starts at 1:35 p.m.

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