WIAA State Girls Basketball Tournament to kick off

Girls basketball a huge event in Green Bay
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 7:27 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It marks the ten-year anniversary of the tournament moving to the Green Bay Area and the Resch Center.

Twenty high school teams will compete in five divisions over the next three days. This year, there are six teams from our area hoping to win a gold ball: Hortonville, Kewaskum, Laconia, Mishicot, Notre Dame Academy, and Waupun.

Kate Peterson Abiad, assistant director of the WIAA, states: “It’s a lot of excitement in our office, everyone’s running around like crazy getting ready. We assign 1,500 officials for the girls’ tournament over the course of those games in each division.”

The president and CEO of Discover Green Bay says people from all over the state will visit the area for some camaraderie and excitement this weekend.

“These kids have worked their whole life to get to this point and will remember the experiences they had in their community for years to come. It’s really quite an honor to be the community that hosts this event,” says Brad Toll, president and CEO of Discover Green Bay.

“When we pull into town, we see signs that say ‘Welcome to Green Bay.’ The hotels are prepared, some decorate their lobbies. They make it really special for the student athletes and the whole community. It is a special event, and we really appreciate the excitement that leads up to our state tournament and the things Green Bay does to make it really special,” Peterson Abiad said.

With more teams competing, more fans may be expected, too. Local restaurants, like Hagemeister Park in Green Bay, say they’re increasing staff to prepare for the expected crowds.

“Everybody wins. When we get these people in town at the convention center or at the hotels staying, it’s good money. Servers are happy. Everyone’s making money. It’s good business,” says Corey Vann, general manager at the Hagemeister Park Restaurant.

Tourism experts expect the tournament to bring in roughly $2 million to the local economy in ticket sales, restaurant and hotel expenses, and more.