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Hosting high school sporting events 40 years and counting

Even before the 1970s, the Concordia Athletic Department has had the role of hosting regular season, sub-section and section games for the Minnesota State High School League. The regular season of basketball is nearing an end, leading Memorial Auditorium to a full schedule with sub-section and section games from now until the middle of March.

Assistant Athletic Director Rachel Bergeson believes hosting these high school games is positive for the college as a whole. Aside from boosting publicity, hosting the upcoming games will help schools around the area learn about the venue and possibly encourage them to look into it.

It also provides some on-campus employment for a number current students, according to David Klug coordinator of sporting events in Memorial.

“It gives our college kids a chance to be apart of game day,” Klug said. “Scoreboard, announcing, all jobs that we normally have [the] adults do for Concordia events, the students get to do.”

Besides being a form of entertainment, the games do bring in some revenue for the athletic department according to both Klug and Bergeson. The revenue can range anywhere from gym space fees to ticket sales and concessions.

“For random games we usually don’t charge rental fees because it is more PR for us, getting kids on campus, but we do get the ticket sales,” Bergeson said. “That goes into a general athletic fund and a fund to pay the student workers.”

The regular season games differ from the sub-section and section games. During regular season games, a rental fee for facility use isn’t needed and all the ticket sales go to the athletic department. The sub-section and section games require a rental fee, but the MSHSL getx all the gate fees.

Along with the differing fees between the two types of games, the number of spectators in the crowd for sub-section and section games differs from regular season games. According to Bergeson, sub-section and section games get anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 spectators in the door, while regular season games bring in a few hundred.

Klug mentioned revenue and publicity are not the only perks of having high school games here; but it is also beneficial to the high school programs as well. Most of the high schools ask to play on Concordia’s court so their players can become familiar with the environment. Bergeson also commented that the locker rooms and extra warm up space were additional benefits for the high school teams.

With positives, however, always come negatives, ranging from workers and injuries to security and facility etiquette, according to Bergeson. Some games go on during longer breaks than the students have which makes finding workers difficult. Additional staff is needed in case of injuries and for crowd control.

“For section games we have a tiny yellow rope that won’t hold anyone back but it creates a boundary,” Bergeson said. “So normally we take all the student workers and line them up in front of the crowd to keep students from storming the court.”

According to Bergeson, every year the different classes of basketball alternate between Concordia and Minnesota State University Moorhead. This year Concordia will host both girls and boys A and AA level games, adding 12 games to the event calendar.

The tiny yellow rope will be brought out in between late February and middle of March when section games begin.

This article was submitted by Aubrie Odegaard, contributing writer.

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