The WIAA state track and field championships have taken place at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse since 1990.
The WIAA, UW-L and Explore La Crosse announced Thursday, that tradition will continue for another five years, beginning in 2023.
The groups agreed to a five-year contract that will run through 2026, where the meet will take place in Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex.
The projected annual economic impact of the state meet in the La Crosse area is approximately $4 million. This year’s state meet runs June 3-4.
“The outstanding track and field facility, as well as the support of the community and the university, make this the greatest of experiences for all who take part – student-athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators,” Executive Director Stephanie Hauser said in a statement.
The facility was renovated in 2008 and seats 9,556, along with standing areas for the meet. Over the three-plus decades, it has averaged 15,732, including an average of 21,000 in the five years prior to the pandemic. The meet was cancelled in 2020, then re-formatted last season.
“It’s a tremendous event that showcases the outstanding hospitality of the La Crosse community,” UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow said in a statement. “UW-L would especially like to recognize the efforts of Explore La Crosse and the local business community which were instrumental in keeping the state track meet in La Crosse for years to come.”
“We are truly blessed to have so many great champion companies and organizations located in our communities,” he added. “They combined to create a regional effort to help ensure the La Crosse region retains this signature event and its enormous economic impact on the tourism industry in our area.”
WIAA membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 516 senior high schools and 45 junior high/middle schools.