Prep Basketball

Iowa girls' state basketball tournament capacity: 4,500 per game

Fans will be spread out throughout lower and upper bowls

Dike-New Hartford's Morgan Weber (23) grabs a rebound under pressure from Jesup's Payton McHone (5) during last year's g
Dike-New Hartford’s Morgan Weber (23) grabs a rebound under pressure from Jesup’s Payton McHone (5) during last year’s girls’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Capacity for the tournament will be 4,500 per game. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — It won’t be a full house. But it won’t be crickets, either.

Jean Berger, executive director of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, said Monday that attendance will be capped at 4,500 for each game of the girls’ state basketball tournament, which runs March 1-6 at Wells Fargo Arena.

“People are going to be spread out a lot more than usual, and masks will be mandated,” Berger said.

Capacity to Wells Fargo is 16,110.

“This might impact four or five of the sessions,” Berger said. “Last year’s Class 5A championship game drew about 4,500.”

Berger said seating will be in a “pod-reserved” format, in which people can purchase blocks of two, four or six, for example. All pods will be separated from each other, and that includes student sections.

To accommodate the socially distanced crowd, seats will be pulled out in both end zones, and some of the seating will be in the upper deck.

“If we get close to 4,500, not all of that will be in the lower bowl,” Berger said.

Games will be two hours apart to allow sanitization between games. The Monday and Tuesday sessions will begin at 9 a.m., and the final game of both days will start at 9 p.m.

Schools will be granted six cheerleaders and a mascot. There will be no pep bands.

The schedule:

Monday, March 1

Class 5A Quarterfinals

9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Class 3A Quarterfinals

5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Tuesday, March 2

Class 3A Quarterfinals

9 a.m.

Class 4A Quarterfinals

11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Class 2A Quarterfinals

7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Wednesday, March 3

Class 2A Quarterfinals

10 a.m. and noon

Class 1A Quarterfinals

2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Thursday, March 4

Class 5A Semifinals

10 a.m. and noon

Class 3A Semifinals

2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Class 4A Semifinals

6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Friday, March 5

Class 2A Semifinals

10 a.m. and noon

Class 1A Semifinals

2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Class 5A Championship

7 p.m.

Saturday, March 6

Class 3A Championship

11 a.m.

Class 4A Championship

1:30 p.m.

Class 2A Championship

4 p.m.

Class 1A Championship

6:30 p.m.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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