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WIAA agrees to keep state track and field meet in La Crosse

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) agreed to a five-year contract with the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to host the state track and field championships in La Crosse through 2026.

“On behalf of the 516 schools in the membership, the WIAA extends gratitude for the generous support of Explore La Crosse and the supporting community, in welcoming this event to the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex for the next five years,” Executive Director Stephanie Hauser said. “The outstanding track and field facility, as well as the support of the community and the university makes this the greatest of experiences for all who take part – student-athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators.”

The agreement with UW-La Crosse provides the WIAA usage of the entire Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex, as well as Mitchell Hall; and, starting in 2023, the fieldhouse during the state meet.

The Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex was opened in 2008 and seats 9,556, with additional seating and standing room for the state track and field championships.

The state track and field championships have been held at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex since 1990, except for 2020 when the event was canceled amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The championships were originally held in Madison.

Held traditionally the last weekend in May or the first weekend in June, the state meet has attracted an average attendance of 15,732 throughout the 31 years in La Crosse, including an average of 21,000 in the five years before the pandemic.

The projected annual economic impact of the state meet in the La Crosse area is approximately $4 million.

The track and field tournament series begins with regional meets scheduled for Monday, May 23, and continues with sectional meets Thursday, May 26.

The state meet is scheduled for Friday-Saturday, June 3-4.

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