Posted: Mar 8, 2013 8:56 AM by Dan Cimmino - MTN Sports
MISSOULA - Area high school basketball fans have grumbled that the state tournaments regularly stop in Belgrade, Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls or elsewhere, with Missoula not in the game. But now we have learned that fans, and their money, could be making a future stop in Missoula.
The last time Missoula hosted a state tournament was in 2004. But now with a funding mechanism in place, offering a "zero bid" through the tourism business improvement district, the Adams Center could be home to state basketball again.
"This is the best basketball venue in the state of Montana, bar none. I mean our intimacy, our skybox, what we have to offer - it's the best. We want to pull people to Missoula to experience Missoula, not just the Adams Center itself, but the community as a whole," said Adams Center Executive Director Brad Murphy.
All of the sites for next year already have already been determined, so Missoula will put a bid for 2015 into the Montana High School Association by April 1. The bid itself is a collaborative effort within the community, including the University of Montana, which could utilize hosting a high school tournament to help boost enrollment.
"The university will step up and contribute as much as they can. The university will be a team player in this because this is a great recruiting tool for us. We've got students coming to our campus and into the Adams Center to see this place and then decide to come to school here," Murphy said.
Missoula will be bidding for all state tournaments except the AA, and those will be determined by April 16.