WIAA extends agreement to hold state baseball tournament in Gran - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

WIAA extends agreement to hold state baseball tournament in Grand Chute

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STEVENS POINT, Wis.-- The Board of Control voted to extend an agreement with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers that secures the use of Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium for the State Spring Baseball Tournament, approved a sectional tournament ticket increase and ball contract, and voted to move forward with a modified realignment proposal at its May meeting today.

The extension of the pact with Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, Wis., will run through 2020. The venue has served as the home of the State Spring Baseball Tournament since 1998. The tournament has featured record crowds since relocating from Wausau, including a tournament-high 14,849 in 2012. The stadium was built in 1995 and has a listed seating capacity of 5,500. The venue also serves as home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Midwest League affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers since 2009. 

A major renovation was completed for the opening of the 2013 Timber Rattlers' season. A second level of suites behind home plate adds an additional 250 seats. The changes also include an expansion of two concession stands, additional restrooms and replacement of the stadium's cement facade.

In other venue-related discussions, the Board authorized the executive staff to begin negotiations on an extension of the agreement with PMI and the Resch Center in Green Bay for both the State Girls Volleyball and Girls Basketball Tournaments. The Resch Center has been the host venue for the State Girls Volleyball Tournament since 2002 and hosted the State Girls Basketball Tournament for the first time in March.

A $1 increase from $4 to $5 for a sectional tournament ticket in all sports will be implemented in the fall of 2013. The revenue generated from the increase will be allocated to member schools and officials in the form of tournament and mileage reimbursements. The mileage reimbursement to schools with teams competing in the State Tournaments will be doubled from $1 to $2 per mile, and a $.40 increase to $.80 will be reimbursed to schools with participants competing in individual State Tournaments. In addition, the payment to tournament host managers will be increased $20, and the mileage reimbursement to officials assigned to Tournament Series events, as well as committee and staff travel related to association business will be increased to $.45 per mile.

The Board also ratified extending the agreement identifying Wilson Sporting Goods as the official football and tennis ball of the WIAA Tournaments through 2018. The deal mandates the use of Wilson footballs in the State Football finals, as well as in Levels 3 and 4 of the football playoffs. In addition, Wilson tennis balls will be used at the sectional and State Tournament level for the boys and girls State Team and Individual Tennis Championships.

First consideration of a Board-modified conference realignment proposal involving the Coulee, Mississippi Valley and Southwest Wisconsin Conferences was approved. The modified proposal maintains the current conference structure and mandates two football-only crossover games between the Coulee Conference and Southwest Wisconsin Conference by the 2014 season.
    
WIAA procedures require a 40-day window for schools to appeal today's approval of the first consideration before the Board takes final action. Thus, schools have until June 26 to request an appeal of the Board's initial approval. The Board is scheduled to make a final determination at its Aug. 9, 2013, meeting.

The Board heard staff reports on the progress of hiring a technology coordinator and gave its support of an officials' background checks policy and the weather-related emergency scheduling relief provided this spring. The Board liaisons from the Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Association of School Boards and the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association also presented updates.

The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 507 senior high schools and 65 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It will sponsor 25 championship tournament series in 2012-13. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.

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