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John’s Journal: Information On Tickets And Awards

Posted: Friday, April 2, 2021 - 2:45 PM

There have been some questions posed about the number of tickets that are available for next week’s state basketball tournaments at Target Center compared to this week’s state hockey tournament games at Xcel Energy Center.

The numbers are different, for a reason. For example, the buildings are working with varying spectator limits for their main occupants. For Wild games at Xcel, the limit is 3,000 fans. For Timberwolves games at Target Center, the current allowable number is 1,200.

Here are further details, based on Covid-19 protocols…

--A total of 500 spectators will be allowed for each basketball semifinal game at Target Center on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There will be six games on Tuesday, six on Wednesday and four on Thursday. Tickets allow fans to watch one specific game; after each game the arena will be cleared, Covid safety procedures will be conducted, and the 500 ticket-holders for the next game will be allowed in. If the attendance limits were higher, this process would be even more cumbersome and the game schedule would be disrupted even more than usual.

--For the state championships (four girls games Friday, four boys games Saturday), the spectator limit will be 600 fans for each two-game session.

The state hockey tournaments and the state basketball tournaments are the biggest spectator events at either arena in nearly a year, which means cautious steps are being taken under the veil of Covid-19.

Another difference at these tournaments concerns postgame awards ceremonies. If you’ve attended hockey games at the X or watched on TV, there are no handshake lines between the two teams. They stand at the blue lines, give their opponent a stick tap, leave the ice and quickly exit the arena, still in uniform (which is how they arrive).

After hockey and basketball state title games, things will be very simple and brief. Each team will receive a trophy and pose for a team photo. Medals will be given to each school, which they can later distribute to the players in whatever manner they choose.

These winter state tournaments, for all sports and activities, are definitely different. But there has been a powerful sense of appreciation from players, coaches, fans and professional, mature members of the media. We all remember how the postseason came to a sudden and ugly end last year as Covid struck. We also recall the total loss of spring sports in 2020 and fall seasons that ended with section playoffs in some sports (but not all), and how the lack of state tournaments left everyone with an empty feeling.

The good news -- even in the face of limited spectators, different awards ceremonies and everything else that has changed – is that state tournaments are happening.

Thanks to all.

--MSHSL media specialist John Millea has been the leading voice of Minnesota high school activities for decades. Follow him on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and listen to "Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts. Contact John at [email protected]

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