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VIDEO REPORT: No Decision Yet on WIAA Tournaments Move

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 -- 10:00 p.m.

On the eve of the WIAA's 2012 state boys basketball tournament, school and WIAA officials say negotiations are on hold.

WIAA Spokesman Todd Clark tells NBC 15 the group is trying to spend the tournament focusing the players, not next year's tournament location.

"We think it is appropriate to direct focus and our attention on this year's tournaments, to the student athletes, to the teams, coaches, and communities that have qualified and are celebrating this experience and do not wish to distract anything from this experience," he said.

UPDATED: Friday, February 17, 2012 --- 4:15 p.m.

UW Athletics released the following statement Friday afternoon:

We remain hopeful that we can still come to some resolution over the scheduling conflicts that have arisen in regard to the WIAA’s use of our athletic facilities. In the spirit of cooperation, UW Athletics and the WIAA have done that many times over the years and we’re confident we can do it again.

The language in the current contract between UW Athletics and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association states that “the University and WIAA will mutually develop a plan which will accommodate both parties by either making schedule or venue changes” in instances where there are scheduling or venue conflicts. UW Athletics has made every attempt to hold up its end of that agreement. We have not changed our method of working with the WIAA to resolve scheduling conflicts. In fact, both parties are contractually obligated to do so. Following are several clarifications regarding the availability of UW Athletics facilities for WIAA events.

The WIAA requested in writing that the 2013 girls basketball tournament be moved to an earlier date and that it be played in the UW Field House. We accommodated that request.

The 2013 individual state wrestling tournament has not been displaced. There was a UW men’s hockey series in conflict, so we moved the hockey series to Saturday/Sunday in order to accommodate the wrestling tournament Wednesday-Friday at the Kohl Center.

The NCAA men’s hockey tournament is extended out one week in 2013 and that causes the WCHA playoffs to extend out, as well.

We, along with the Big Ten Conference and our Big Ten peer institutions, spearheaded the revision of the format of the future Big Ten hockey tournament in order to accommodate WIAA events.

We have, and will continue to look to resolve scheduling conflicts as they arise.

A December survey showed that 72 percent of all WIAA basketball coaches preferred Madison as the locale for the state tournament. When asked about their choice of venues, nearly 60 percent said they prefer the Kohl Center with the UW Field House as a back-up.

We have said repeatedly that we value the longtime relationship we have had with the WIAA and that we do not want that to change. This is a relationship and a tradition of which we are very proud. It is a relationship that we and our partners in the Madison community value deeply and want to continue well into the future.

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Posted Thursday, February 16, 2012 --- 7:45 p.m.

Press Release:

STEVENS POINT, Wis. ­– The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control supported an Executive Staff recommendation to enter into a five-year agreement with PMI and the Resch Center in Green Bay, as soon as 2013 and extending through 2017, if the University of Wisconsin is unable to accommodate the State Boys and Girls Basketball Tournaments in accordance with the terms of the existing agreement.

Seeking a change in venue became necessary because of conflicts with the University of Wisconsin athletics schedule for 2013 and beyond. The traditional weekends of the State basketball tournaments in the Kohl Center have been reserved for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs in 2013, and initially, the Big Ten Conference Hockey playoffs beginning in 2014.

In addition, the boys basketball tournament is expected to be displaced in 2014 for the NCAA Women’s Hockey Frozen Four. Given the most recent information provided by the University of Wisconsin, other identified conflicts include the 2013 State Individual Wrestling Tournament, which is scheduled to be displaced by a regular season hockey series.

The long-term conflict with the Big Ten Conference Hockey playoffs for 2014 and beyond was later resolved by a change in the tournament hosting format. However, a recent UW offer to extend the existing contract for use of its facilities included language that would potentially displace the tournaments for UW regular-season events, an item not present in the existing agreement.

The WIAA has 14 other State Tournament events in Madison on 13 different weeks, including football, boys and girls golf, boys and girls hockey, softball, boys and girls swimming and diving, boys and girls team and individual tennis, and team and individual wrestling.

Attempts to resolve the conflicts in 2013 and 2014, as well as concerns within the most recent proposal have been ongoing. The proposals to keep the basketball tournaments in the Kohl Center would have required moving the Boys State Basketball Tournament to late March or move the event to mid-week date

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From the Associated Press:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- It looks like the WIAA state boys and girls basketball tournaments are moving to Green Bay.

Executive Director Dave Anderson confirms that the WIAA Board of Control voted to accept a bid from PMI Entertainment, which manages the Resch Center, and move the tournaments to Green Bay.

Anderson tells the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/ynny3k) the move could come as early as next year. But that could change if Kohl Center in Madison can be made available to the WIAA in 2013 and 2014.

The University of Wisconsin has said it could not guarantee the WIAA access to Kohl Center on its preferred dates due to conflicts with WCHA men's hockey in 2013 and a possible NCAA Women's Frozen Four in 2014.

Madison has hosted the boys tournament for 90 of the last 91 years and the girls since its debut in 1976.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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