MADISON (WKOW)-- Saturday night both the wrestling and hockey state tournaments wrapped up in Madison. For many families, traveling to the state capitol has become an annual tradition.
With witty cheers and raging band music it's easy to get sucked into the culture of high school tournaments. With so much action, fans would eagerly go anywhere to follow their hometown team, but if they had to choose, most would be perfectly fine with Madison.
"Well I think it's awesome because you know it's the state capitol," hockey mom Bonnie Weilandt says. "Why would you not have state in the state capitol?"
Many would agree. In 2011-12, more than 230,000 fans made the trip to state tournaments in Madison. Not to mention thousands of coaches and athletes. Altogether they end up spending well over $10 million at local businesses.
"It's something that our high school fan base really enjoys, coming down to this community and being a part of things for a weekend at a time," WIAA Tournament Director Tom Shafranski says.
Between hockey and wrestling, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association expected around 25,000 fans this weekend. Most fans come every year and will continue to come thanks to a recent agreement with the city. The agreement keeps hockey in Madison through 2017 and boy's basketball, football, wrestling, golf and softball until 2020.
"Madison has kind of been home to WIAA events. Many of them for many years and we've always been extremely happy to work with the people here," Shafranski says.
It's a longstanding partnership pleasing local business owners, city leaders, and athletic officials, but for fans and students it really doesn't matter where they play as long as their team is ahead.
Next weekend the boy's basketball state tournament will come to Madison. As for the girl's, they will spend the next two years playing in Green Bay. Together the two tournaments draw in more than 100,000 fans.
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