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Girls Basketball Finals To Stay At CMU For Next Three Years

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Jan. 21 - The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association has overwhelmingly voted to keep Rose Arena on the campus of Central Michigan University the home of the organization's Girls Basketball Semifinals and Finals for the 1999, 2000 and 2001 tournaments.

The 5,200-season mid-Michigan facility has played host to the event for the past two seasons, setting records in 1997 for highest final day (9,963), final session (5,693), semifinal (11,030) and overall attendance (20,993). The 1998 finals ran a close second in all categories, drawing 9,402 on the final day, 5,256 for a finals single session, 9,691 for the semifinals and 19,093 for a three-day total. In addition, advance and group ticket sales for the event hit all-time highs.

Keeping the event in Mt. Pleasant had widespread support, including that of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan.

"Central Michigan University has done an excellent job in running the Girls Basketball Finals, and has played a major role in promoting the event so that we have enjoyed our largest attendance ever the past two seasons," said John E. "Jack" Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. "The tournament atmosphere at Rose Arena is excellent, and the Council saw fit to build on recent success by scheduling the finals there for the next three years.

"Rose Arena is the right sized venue, even with our growing crowds, at this time; and its location on a major Division I college campus is also considered a plus by our members," Roberts continued. "We project that the tournament will continue to grow at CMU during the next three years."

The Council discussed venues for the event at its annual Fall meeting in December, and selected Rose Arena in a mail ballot conducted earlier this month. Also under consideration were the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing; Cobo Arena in Detroit; and VanAndel Arena in Grand Rapids.

The Representative Council is the 19-member legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities; and the 19th position is available to the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,300 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments conducted in 12 sports for girls and 12 sports for boys which attract approximately 1.3 million spectators each year.