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WIAA Girls' State Championships successful for hosts and officials

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Notre Dame's Allie LeClaire puts up a shot against New Berlin Eisenhower during their Division 2 state title game at the Resch Center on Saturday. (courtesy of FOX 11).
Notre Dame's Allie LeClaire puts up a shot against New Berlin Eisenhower during their Division 2 state title game at the Resch Center on Saturday. (courtesy of FOX 11).

ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - The just completed WIAA Girls State Basketball Tournament is being hailed as a success.

But the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon only has a two-year contract to host the tourney.

After 37 years of the WIAA playing in Madison, the Green Bay area got a chance to steal the show this year.

Two key ingredients for a successful tournament came through--good weather to allow fans to get to the arena, and great matchups to fill the seats.

"I don't have the exact count from WIAA but back to back sessions when you get a team like Notre Dame and you get New London I mean there was some pretty big numbers," Cora Haltaufderheid, Chief Operating Officer for PMI Entertainment which runs the Resch Center, told FOX 11.

Haltaufderheid says attendance is up over recent years when the games were played in Madison.

"We knew last year's numbers were right around 30,000, and a few years back around 34,000. That has been our goal all along and I'm proud to say as of this morning we achieved that goal and we're now exceeding that," said Haltaufderheid.

"It's been a terrific three days," said WIAA Executive Director Dave Anderson.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette is reporting that attendance at the games was near 40,000. 

WIAA officials say they are pleased with the more intimate setting the Resch Center offers compared to larger venues in Madison that hosted the tournament in the past.

"To find a good sized venue that fits the tournament is important," said Anderson. "It looks and feels to be a raucous and enthusiastic crowd and that brings the state tournament atmosphere, that we're happy for the girls to have."

Not only do the teams on the court play a role in the success of the tournament, but WIAA officials also look for a fan friendly environment.

"From all indications our fans, and I can certainly attest my board and staff, have felt very, very welcome in coming here and we're grateful for that," said Anderson.

With the success of the tournament, PMI officials plan a full court press to keep the WIAA coming back for more.

Green Bay Chamber officials estimate the local economic impact of the girls tournament is around $3 million, which is reason enough they say to try and win a long-term contract with WIAA.

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