Hosting postseason venues is no easy task, just ask Jacksonville High School Athletic Director Joey Dion.
Fans flocked to The Bowl this past week for boys’ basketball 3A regional action, featuring several Central State Eight schools. The regional title was decided on Friday as Springfield Lanphier defeated Jacksonville 76-64.
Dion says even though The Bowl was filled with fans all week, most of the ticket sales go to the Illinois High School Association.
“It’s a formula the IHSA has. You get a set rate when you sign the dotted line to host. We get x amount of dollars and then we get a percentage on top of that. We are grateful to have it. There is a lot of benefits to having it, but it isn’t a big money maker for the district.”
Dion says there are several savings that go along with hosting a regional.
“We’re not putting our players on transportation, so there are savings there. Plus we played at home. We are going to make money, but there is a lot of expense to hire people, organize everything and do the hospitality rooms. There is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes that is exciting and overwhelming at times.”
Postseason action continues tonight at The Bowl as Liberty takes on Waterloo-Gibault for the 1A Super-Sectional title.
Dion has experience working for Athens and Illini West in the past and says smaller schools bring a faithful fan base that generates solid revenue for the school that hosts the postseason venue.
“It brings a lot of people to town for local businesses. Just to have that environment around the Jacksonville community is really neat to associate with and be apart of.”
Tip off for the 1A Super-Sectional is at 7 p.m. and WEAI 107.1 will have the call with pre-game starting at 6:40 p.m.