Ticket sales high for Class B basketball tournament
FARGO -- The North Dakota Class B state boys basketball tournament is back in Bismarck and once again is taking its traditional spot as the grand finale of the winter sports season.
FARGO - The North Dakota Class B state boys basketball tournament is back in Bismarck and once again is taking its traditional spot as the grand finale of the winter sports season.
Both of those factors have contributed to robust advanced reserved ticket sales, according to the North Dakota High School Activities Association Executive Director Matt Fetsch.
“It is a combination of those two things,” Fetsch said. “There are so many factors that go into who and how many people are going to buy tickets, but historically basketball tournaments played at Bismarck have drawn a lot of fans.”
All 2,171 adult season reserved tickets - which covers admission to all six sessions of the tournament - for the event are sold out. Single-session reserved seats and general admission seats go on sale starting at 9 a.m. Thursday. The adult season reserved tickets were sold for $41 with arena fees included.
“Combine all that with our Class B parade of champions on Saturday, and the potential for a memorable crowd is there for the last night of the tournament,” Fetsch said.
The Class B tournament begins Thursday and is being hosted at the Bismarck Event Center - formerly known as the Bismarck Civic Center.
The tournament’s field of eight teams is defending state champion Fargo Oak Grove, May-Port-CG, LaMoure-Litchville-Marion, Four Winds-Minnewaukan, Bismarck Shiloh Christian, Rugby, New England and Parshall.
Fetsch, who began working at the NDHSAA office in 2010, said he couldn’t recall a season since he started working in Valley City when all of the reserved tournament pass tickets had been sold out prior to the start of a tournament.
The adult season reserved tickets went on sale Jan. 26 and NDHSAA Associate Director Brian Bubach said one-third of them were purchased the first day they were made available to the public.
“Sales were pretty overwhelming the first day,” Fetsch said. “Any time you are selling out of what tickets are available it is a good thing.”
Fetsch said every facility that has hosted the Class B tournament over the last decade differs with the amount of reserved seating it made available prior to the tournament.
The last time Bismarck hosted the Class B boys basketball tournament was in 2007. Profits generated by that event were $140,540.49 - second highest over the last eight years.
Following the 2009-10 season, when the Class B boys and girls basketball switched dates on the state’s tournament schedule - boys first and girls last - created a conflict with Bismarck hosting the B boys as it also hosts the Class A West Region basketball tournaments.
In June of 2013, The NDHSAA Board of Directors approved a change back to order of having the Class B girls basketball tournament being the first winter basketball state tournament and the Class B boys being last. The board’s action left the door open for Bismarck to once again host the B boys tournament.
The NDHSAA has transitioned to what it has called preferred tournament host sites for many of its sponsored events.
Over the next five seasons, the B boys tournament rotates between Minot and Bismarck. Fargo is scheduled to host in 2021.
“I don’t think there is a question that Class B basketball tournaments perform well in Bismarck and Minot,” Fetsch said. “Class B basketball is a big draw in Bismarck and Minot.”