LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The pandemic has taken away much this year, but the WIAA Girls and Boys State Basketball Tournament is something the City of La Crosse can look forward to.
Terry Bauer, the Director for Downtown Mainstreet, and Art Fahey, the Executive Director for the La Crosse Center, tell News 19 that the tournaments will bring financial gains to local businesses.
"Our local businesses are doing very well, so we think we turned the tide on the pandemic," Bauer said. "Things are opening up, people are safe, but we can still go on living, which I think is important to our community."
The tournaments are the most significant events the La Crosse Center have had since the shutdown last March.
"The state basketball tournament is the biggest event we've had of all time," said Fahey.
Kate Peterson Abiad, the Assistant Director for the WIAA, said the journey these young athletes went through to get to state championships is nothing less than impressive. Abiad has over 25 years of collegiate women's coaching.
"I think what people will see at the end of this season is something that will be a memorable and positive experience for the kids."
Abiad also mentioned that school staff and coaches must be appreciated for helping these athletes get to the state championships.
The center worked with the county health department to allow about 1,000 people to enjoy the games in person. The arena normally seats 6,000 people.