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WIAA extends facilities agreement with UW

MADISON-- The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department agreed to a five-year contract extension that grants the WIAA availability to campus facilities for hosting high school state championships in boys basketball, football, golf, wrestling and softball through the spring of 2025, the WIAA and UW announced Sunday, March 18.

"We're grateful to Coach Alvarez and his whole team for helping to put this into place," WIAA Executive Director Dave Anderson said. "We need to acknowledge the efforts of Deb Archer and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Mayor Soglin and the City of Madison to continue to make this community and campus a welcoming place for WIAA sports fans."

The cooperative efforts and partnerships with the UW Athletic Department, the UW Chancellor's Office, the City of Madison Mayor's Office, the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau, Dane County, local businesses and media outlets have contributed to recognizing Madison as one of the premier destinations and locations for WIAA State tournaments. In 2016-17, WIAA State tournaments in Madison drew a paid attendance of 220,557 and thousands of additional participants, coaches and school administrators.

"We're absolutely thrilled and have been very happy and pleased with our relationship with the WIAA," UW Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said. "I think it is important for the university, for our department and also for the city that we maintain this relationship and continue to have the state championships here on campus."

The agreement recognizes the mutual commitment to work together in providing memorable experiences for participating student-athletes and spectators attending WIAA state events. In addition to recognizing the best high school student-athletes and teams in the state, the tournaments showcase a number of the state's finest facilities, the UW campus and the City of Madison.

The Kohl Center has been the site of the State Boys Basketball Tournament and the State Individual Wrestling Tournament since 1998 when the facility was opened. With the exception of 1936, the boys basketball tournament has been held in Madison since 1920, and the wrestling championships have been conducted there since 1949. The UW Field House has been the site of the State Team Wrestling Championship Tournament since it moved from West Allis in 2005.

Camp Randall Stadium has been home to the WIAA State Football Finals since 1982, and University Ridge has served as host of the girls and boys State Golf Championships since 1994, with the exception of the girls tournament in 2012 because of course renovations. Goodman Diamond has hosted the State Softball Championship Tournament since it moved from Waukesha in 2002.

The WIAA State Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving Tournaments, as well as the State Girls and Boys Team and Individual Tennis Tournaments are also held on the UW campus, but are not associated with this agreement. Those event and venue agreements are with UW Recreation Sports.

WIAA officials previously announced an extension to host high school state championships in girls volleyball, boys volleyball and girls basketball at the Resch Center in Green Bay through 2025.

The WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 512 senior high schools and 43 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors 27 championship tournament series in 2017-18.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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