After being held in Madison for nearly a century, Wisconsin's high school state basketball tournament is moving to the Resch Center in Green Bay starting next spring, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Thursday.
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletes Association's tournament, which has been held at the Kohl Center, is scheduled to conflict with men's hockey next year and possibly women's hockey the year after.
The athletic department's offers to host the tournament in the UW-Madison Field House and the Dane County Coliseum were unsuccessful.
UW-Madison Athletic Board member Barb Smith said at last month's athletic board meeting while it would be ideal to facilitate both hockey and the tournament, it is the university's responsibility to put its student athletes first.
"It comes down to these facilities are for student athletes, first, of the University of Wisconsin, and then the WIAA may choose to rent the facility if it's available," Smith said. "It bothers me that we're expected to put our student athletes second."
Athletic Director Barry Alvarez told Varsity Magazine the athletics department did everything it could to keep the tournament in Madison, calling it a "Win-Win" for the city.
Alvarez said the crowd the tournament draws inevitably brings sources of revenue for Madison businesses and offers prospective students the opportunity to see the university, but his primary responsibility is to UW-Madison student athletes.
"It would be pretty hard to tell one of my coaches who have qualified a team to play in a tournament that we may be moving their games to another venue," Alvarez told the magazine. "We want them all here, and we've done everything we can to keep them here."