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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, May 27, 2022
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Future conflicts with Badger Hockey could force WIAA state basketball tournaments out of the Kohl Center.

Athletic Board remains hopeful WIAA state basketball tournament will stay in Madison

Despite reports the Wisconsin high school boys' and girls' basketball tournaments would be moved to the Resch Center in Green Bay indefinitely starting next year, members of the UW-Madison athletic board said Friday they are still hopeful the tournament will stay in Madison.

The tournaments, which have been held in Madison for nearly a century, are scheduled to conflict with Badger men and women's hockey for the next two years.

Members of the board said the crowd the tournament brings to Madison benefits local businesses and the university.

While members of the board said the UW-Madison Field House and Dane County Coliseum are available for the tournaments, the WIAA is seemingly only interested in the Kohl Center.

But UW-Madison Deputy Athletic Director Sean Frazier said the university's contract with WIAA, which runs through 2013, does not say the tournaments have to be hosted at the Kohl Center.

"We've never had a situation where the Kohl Center would be exclusive because of the issues of our championships with men and women's basketball as well as men and women's hockey," Frazier said. "It was never part of the discussion. It's clear now that that's the driving force."

Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said while it is unclear whether the WIAA has made a decision on where to hold the tournaments, he hopes the athletic department can work with the WIAA to reach an agreement.

Also at the meeting, the committee approved the athletic department budget at nearly $114 million, an increase from its $94 million budget in 2011-12.

The increase accounts for around $16.2 million in building projects. The budget also includes a $2 increase in student season tickets for football.

The budget now goes to the chancellor for final approval.

Committee members also spoke about UW-Madison entering a period of "meditation" with adidas after the company allegedly violated its $2.3 million contract with the university by partaking in unfair labor policies in Indonesia.

Alvarez said he does not know what company the university could sign with if it severs ties with adidas, since it already terminated contracts with Nike and Russell Athletics over similar contract violations.

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"If we lose that contract I don't know where we could go, how we would replenish that 2.3 [million]," Alvarez said.

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