ASHWAUBENON - The WIAA is already gearing up for the state girls basketball tournament at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon in March.
The WIAA unveiled the official tournament logo Friday morning.
Overall, this is pretty much a learning experience for those at the Resch. That's because this is the first time the venue will host a girls state basketball tournament.
But officials are hopeful it will inspire the WIAA to keep the golden ball in Ashwaubenon for the long-term.
In just a couple months, thousands will pack the Resch Center for the 2013 state girls basketball tournament.
"How can you not be excited? The community has embraced us from day one when they signed the contract and said we were coming here," explained WIAA associate director Deb Hauser.
Last spring, the WIAA voted to move the girls tournament from Madison to Ashwaubenon, ending its 37 year run in Madison.
The agreement is for two years. That means, the future home after that is still up in the air, but PMI officials hope the tournament stays here.
"We want to tell our story, but we really need to prove ourselves first," said PMI chief operating officer Cora Haltaufderheid. "We believe by getting out here, getting out here supporting this tournament, Green Bay will roll out the welcome mat."
A lot will depend on how well this tournament goes.
However, coordinators say they're working with the Packers to show they can provide more than just a basketball experience.
"They're going to offer some different amenities to the teams as they come in. There's going to be some tours given to them, some things where they'll be able to have a little bit of chalk-talk over there. It'll be more of a pep rally in their honor along within elements tied with the Packers," Haltaufderheid said.
Those with the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau estimate the tournament will pour $3 million into the local economy.
That's a big reason why groups want to keep the tournament here.
While WIAA officials wouldn't say one way or the other, they're open to the idea.
"We need to find a home for the girls basketball championships. I think this has every potential to fill that need," Hauser said.
PMI officials expect to sit down with the WIAA to discuss future tournaments this spring.
The tournament is scheduled for March 14th through the 16th.
Tickets go on sale Saturday.
The WIAA decided to keep the boys state tournament in Madison, where it has 92 years of history.
The tournament will stay there through 2020.
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