Roofless: MN prep football, soccer tourneys take a hit

It’s going to cost high schools that send athletes to state tournaments in Minnesota now.

The Minnesota State High School League has voted to suspend reimbursements to schools to help defray the cost of getting to state sports tournaments, the Star Tribune reports.

At one time, the MSHSL took in about $1 million in tournament revenue, but that’s been falling to a fraction of that, particularly in soccer and football, according to the paper.

Once the Metrodome was bulldozed down and games were moved outside, football revenue dropped 50 percent.

Fewer dollars looks like this: After 2013-14, Eden Prairie received $5,775.42 for participation in 22 state tournaments. Based on the figures from 2014-15, the Eagles would have received just $636.89.

The league faces one more fall of playing 12 soccer games and 21 football games in the state tournament outside. But moving those games into the U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Vikings, in 2016 has league executive director Dave Stead optimistic.

“The weather was horrible last year and that’s why the numbers were down,” Stead said. “Once we get in the new building, I’m sure a number of people are going to want to come … see the tournament[s] so the numbers are going to come back up and our reimbursement opportunities will be coming up as well.”

  • MrE85

    We fans of the old Dome could have predicted this. The games were always dry and comfortable inside. No weather delays or cancelations, either.

  • lindblomeagles

    The new cash cow in the 21st century will be high school athletes.

    • BJ

      Yes under 6k for 22 appearances ($272 per appearance). That might cover the busing.

  • X.A. Smith

    Fair weather fans.

  • Robert

    I’m guessing a lot of the soccer drop might be because they didn’t just move outside, they moved to the state’s great soccer hotbed, St Cloud. /s

  • Matthew Becker

    The high schools should threaten to move their teams out of state. That always seems to work.

    • Jack

      Love your comment – it made me laugh!

      Seriously – are the small schools going to be able to afford to play in the state tournament? Maybe we should stop paying the large schools so the small ones can still participate.

      • tboom

        Or maybe they need to dial back the state tournaments a bit, make the competition a little more regional. I’m only a casual observer of the MSHSL, but in basketball what do we have, something like 32 state tournament teams? (4 classes with 8 teams) And how many seats are sold, half? Prior to 1995 there were 16 teams and prior to 1971 there were 8 teams all playing in front of sold out arenas.

        • All the schools play in the regional playoffs and go from there.

          Dialing back the State Tourneys would put smaller schools at a severe disadvantage but would make for more compelling “Cinderella” stories.