Mayor Soglin's Blog

Madison's Pitch for the WIAA Basketball Tournaments

February 15, 2012 5:39 PM

There have been multiple news stories regarding the wooing of the WIAA Tournaments and frankly I have seen a lot of misinformation. I thought I would share some information. Let's call it Myth vs. Reality.

MYTH

#1. The tournaments can't be held in the Kohl Center.

REALITY

The University has resolved this issue. The Kohl Center will not be a Big Ten Hockey Tournament location. UW Athletic Department officials lead the charge to make sure that happened. In the event of other scheduling conflicts with UW, on-campus and area venues have been secured

MYTH

#2. Madison hotels require a two night minimum.

REALITY

Madison hotels are abundant and affordable. The vast majority of hotels have not, and do not require a minimum stay. There are 25 hotels that are participating in a Fan Package that begins in 2012, offering great rates and no minimum stays. The Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau has offered to assist in developing fan hotel packages in the past and is delighted that WIAA agreed to pursue that option.

MYTH

#3 Parking costs in Madison are high.

REALITY

Event parking rates at City of Madison and UW-Madison campus parking ramps will be in effect. Parking in city ramps near the Kohl Center will be only $4. The University is guaranteeing their rates until 2020. There will be free shuttles from other locations to help offset parking costs

MYTH

#4 Moving the event will revitalize the games.

REALITY

That was a lesson learned from moving Badger State Summer Games to a new location in an effort to revitalize attendance. The result was the demise of the events, as well as the organization that managed them. Madison has a proven fan base that looks forward to, and annually attends the WIAA Basketball tournaments

MYTH

#5 Madison doesn't care about the WIAA

REALITY

Financial assistance and support from the University, City of Madison, Dane County, Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as the hotel and restaurant community are included in current proposal. There has been an incredible collaborative effort to put together the proposal. Madison has a long history, and continues to host many other WIAA state tournaments throughout the year. We welcome our high school athletes and their families and fans from around the state year-round.

Regardless of the decision by the WIAA, I am proud to have been involved in developing Madison's proposal to keep the tournaments here. It has been a great effort and I thank the GMCVB for its leadership.


 

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