This year’s State B Boys’ Basketball Tournament March 18-20 at Wachs Arena will be unlike any other the facility has ever hosted.
For starters, the Arena will be cleared out after each and every game for cleaning and sanitizing. For another, fans cannot buy a tournament pass for all of the dozen games.
Each of the eight schools will receive 100 tickets to sell. Those tickets will be good for that school’s games only. Tournament Director Gene Brownell said that once the concession workers, officials, trainers, and the 200 tickets for the two schools that are playing at that time are accounted for, there will be roughly 2,500 general admission tickets available for each contest.
Tickets can be purchased prior to each game and will be good for that game only.
“As soon as that game is over, the people who are in the arena have to depart,” Brownell said. “And they have to depart out either the southwest or the west doors. They will not depart out the north doors that they came in.”
Fans will not be allowed to linger following the contests.
“They will have to leave immediately following the game. There’s not going to be time to sit around and visit,” Brownell said. “There’s not going to be time to talk to the kids or do those kinds of things.”
Masks are required as per a mandate from the South Dakota Board of Regents. Masks will be available.
The thing to note is that fans will not be allowed to purchase tickets for upcoming games, only the next game scheduled.
“You can buy a ticket for that game only. You can’t buy one for games later that day and you can’t buy one for your team’s games later that week,” Brownell said. “It’s one game at a time.”
Tickets for each game will be on sale for approximately 45 minutes to an hour ahead of time, depending on the situation. That means, for instance, if you are watching the third place game on Saturday night, you cannot purchase a championship game ticket until they go on sale during the third place contest. You would have to leave the game to stand in line, have someone stand in line and purchase a ticket for you, or run the risk of having the tickets sell out.
Brownell expects there to be a big demand starting in the evening session on Friday with maybe more spectators than tickets available.
“I really think if that’s going to happen, the first time we’ll see people get turned away will be Friday night,” Brownell said.
And if you’re planning on watching every minute of every game during the event, it will be tough to do so in person.
“I think watching all 12 games would be nearly impossible,” Brownell said.
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