ASHWAUBENON - Joining the rest of Edgewood High School's volleyball faithful, assistant girls' basketball coach Mike Lumina hopes to be back at the Resch Center in four months.
"It's good," said Lumina. "I love the atmosphere here. It's loud. This is cool."
While WIAA volleyball is the main event this weekend, girls basketball is set to take over the Resch Center for the first time on a state tournament level in March.
The tournament used to be held at the Kohl Center in Madison, but scheduling conflicts prompted the change.
"Basketball will be a little different," said Ken Wachter, the president of PMI Entertainment Group, which helps bring events to the Resch Center. "The crowds are a little bigger. You probably anticipate three times the amount of people over the course of four days."
WIAA officials have been monitoring the volleyball crowds in anticipation of how they might need to handle the basketball fans.
"Wanted to see the crowd and how it flows in and out and a number of things in the bowl itself and how traffic works around the facility," said Todd Clark with the WIAA.
The Resch Center's deal to host girls' state basketball is for only two years, so organizers know they need to impress from the start.
"We feel confident we're going to put on a good show and we feel confident the community is going to embrace the event and make it hard for these guys to want to go back to Madison," said Wachter.
"The bands playing in there, both sides are full with division two schools and it's loud," said Clark. "It just makes you excited to come here."
Even if it means a longer drive for fans like Lumina.
"It's only two hours, so what are you going to do?" said Lumina. "It's not too bad."
The girls' basketball tournament is expected to bring three million dollars to the area economy.
The boys' basketball tournament will remain at the Kohl Center in Madison.
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