With the Kohl Center unable to guarantee dates for the next couple of years, it
certainly looks like Green Bay has put more on the table for the WIAA to consider with regards to the future of the State basketball and wrestling tournaments.
Both cities gave their pitch to the WIAA Board of Control on Wednesday.
Based on conversations with both parties, it would appear that the Green Bay contingent has more to offer at the moment, with a guarantee that the Resch Center would be available to the WIAA on the dates needed.
Availability is an issue for the Kohl Center starting next year (2013) already. But even more important, the long-term availability is something that can only happen if the Big Ten Conference men’s hockey schools change the format of the Big Ten Tournament.
The Green Bay group (PMI Entertainment Group) has lobbied for the hotels to jump on board which they have by guaranteeing that they won’t jack the rates or require 2-night minimums. There’s plenty of available parking that’s easily accessible. The Packers have jumped in as well to become a part of the bid. PMI President & CEO Ken Wachter said they handed the WIAA their best offer.
Wachter said he believes Green Bay and the Resch Center can compete with the Kohl Center.
If PMI Entertainment would get the tournaments in Green Bay, there’s more to throw out on the table as well, things like the creation of a WIAA Experience.
So, what is the issue if Green Bay does indeed hold the cards on the best offer to the WIAA?
History! The WIAA State Basketball and Wrestling tournaments have been in Madison for a long time. I think Green Bay would do a fabulous job of hosting the tournaments. But the teams, the players, coaches and even their fans want the state tournament to be in Madison, where the Badgers play.
But with that being said, Madison can’t take that for granted. The Madison group needs to put their best foot forward and get some help from Big Ten Hockey to show the WIAA that they will be able to guarantee the Kohl Center dates well into the future.