Destination Missoula helps reel in State B hoops tourney - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Destination Missoula helps reel in State B hoops tourney

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MISSOULA - The Class B state basketball championships are underway at the Adams Center, but it took a lot of work to get the teams -- and their fans -- to the Garden City.

“So we bid on this tournament two or three years ago and so we’ve been preparing for it since then," Christine Johnson sports commission chair for Destination Missoula.

Three years is a long time to prepare for a tournament, but the athletes in the event didn't even know they would be here until they won their divisional tournaments about a week ago.

So what made Missoula so attractive for this tournament?

“First and foremost we have Washington Grizzly Stadium and Dahlberg Arena and the beautiful facilities that we have here so we get to showcase that to high school kids across the state," Johnson said. "And I love class B we have both the boys and the girls here this weekend and very rarely would they be able to play in a place of this size."

Besides the athletic facilities that make Missoula special, the ability to provide everyone with a Hotel room also makes the city attractive to Montana High School Sports Association.

“When you get to the smaller classes most of the town comes to cheer on your team you have to be able to accommodate all of those kids coming and watching and having all of their families watch,” Johnson said.

Destination Missoula’s efforts in creating hospitality areas to provide food for the coaches and refs also probably doesn't hurt Missoula’s cause

“We provide the hospitality for the officials for the coaches for all of the athletic personnel," Johnson explained. And it's all done by Destination Missoula members, sponsors and a hardworking group of volunteers.

“The sports commission is completely volunteer and the people staffing the hospitality rooms for the officials and for the schools are completely volunteer.  So their giving up their time, most of them during the work day to come. It's a hard job you get to watch basketball while your volunteering so maybe it's not so hard but all our volunteers are greatly appreciated.” Johnson concluded.

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