WIAA brings plenty of visitors, excitement to Madison - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

WIAA brings plenty of visitors, excitement to Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The WIAA state basketball tournament returned to Madison Thursday. Games will continue through Saturday night.

The Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau is not making an official estimate on how many people will take in the tournament.

But last year's numbers put the total number of attendees at both the boys' and girls's WIAA basketball finals at roughly 86-thousand people.

The girls tournament is next weekend.

Among those making the trip to Madison for Thursday's semi-final match ups was Brent Schutz, who made the three hour drive with his family to watch the Cochrane-Fountain City Pirates in Division 5.

CFC ultimately lost a nail biter to Thorp.

"It was super exciting. I'm really proud of our guys," Schutz said. "They played super hard."

Ted and Susan Tuma traveled four and a half hours from Minnesota to watch their great nephew, Dillon Geiger, play his final basketball game in a CFC uniform.

"It had been a long time since we went to a high school basketball game," Ted Tuma said. "We had forgotten how much excitement there is."

"Somebody in the stands said we better hope there isn't a fire in Cochran City today, because there's no one left in town to put it out," he joked.

Of course, all the visiting fans have to find somewhere to park.

Parking Operations Manager Tom Woznick said parking spots are available at the city's State Street ramps, both near campus and near State and the Capitol.

Parking at both ramps is $4.00 for those who arrive within two hours of game time.

Woznick also said University of Wisconsin ramps are available to park in for $8.00, and there are parking spots at the Alliant Energy Center for $6.50. A shuttle that runs from the Alliant Energy Center to downtown Madison costs $5.00 round trip, he said.

Woznick called hosting the tournament both exciting and wonderful for the city. Still, he added it makes for a busy couple of days.

"There's a lot of planning that goes into it. We do everything we can to provide information to our visitors about where they can go, where parking might be available," Woznick said.

Those searching for spaces can also check out this city of Madison website, which offers information on parking availability in real time.

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