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MHSAA says safety is a top priority at state finals

The MHSAA and the Breslin Center are trying to make things look and feel as similar to a normal season as possible.
Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 7:21 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - After having no postseason games last year, both high school girls and boys basketball are wrapping up this weekend with the state finals.

There have been a lot of changes to winter sport competitions this season regarding COVID-19 safety measures. Those changes will stay in place for the finals.

The MHSAA and the Breslin Center are trying to make things look and feel as similar to a normal season as possible. Normally, there are thousands of people at one championship game, and this year it will be less than 800. But, to even get to this week was an unknown just a few months ago. Jon Ross is the media coordinator for the MHSAA.

“We’ve got a number of protocols in place, both our own and the Breslin Center’s,” Ross said. “They’ve been great to work with.”

It’s a partnership that began back in 1994. The Breslin has hosted the state basketball finals for 26 years straight, before the pandemic led to the cancellation of last year’s playoffs. To ensure they could get back to business this year, there had to be safety measures in place.

“Fans are going to be sitting on one half of the arena,” Ross said. “So, for game one, everyone will be sitting on the east side per say and then game two everyone will be on the west side. That’s so we can clean the other part while a game is going on and get people in and out as quickly as possible.”

There will be 750 tickets per game -- 200 will go to each school and the rest to the general public. The schools will decide how many are dispersed to who, but fans can’t sit together like normal and you can only attend the game you buy.

Ross said, “There won’t be, you know when you think of basketball, student sections with everybody kind of crammed in together and on top of each other. This is going to be 4 seats, and then some space. And then another 4 seats, and some space.”

There will be extensive disinfectant cleaning machines used across the entire arena. It’s a big operation, but the goal is to make it as safe and enjoyable as possible for everyone involved.

Ross said, “If you can put aside the fact that there might not be anyone sitting next to you for 4 or 5 seats, then it will be just like a regular basketball game, a regular semifinal, a regular championship that everyone is going to remember for a long time outside of all the safety precautions that go along with it that are a little different.”

Tickets for the general public will go on sale the night before each final. More information with maps, entrances, and tickets can be found at MHSAA.com.

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