MCL attendance varies with teams playing
By RANDY GONZALES
If this is the last year the Mid-Continent League basketball tournament is in Hays, how many fans come out to watch those final games depends in large part on who is playing.
Attendance varies from year to year. Ellis High School Principal Corey Burton put together an estimate for recent tournaments. In 2010, approximately 4,000 total fans attended games in Hays. In 2011, it was 4,100. In 2012, it was 3,400, and in 2013, it was 3,000.
"It depends a lot on which teams are in the finals, kind of a combination of teams that make the finals," Burton said of the attendance figures.
The MCL will expand to 10 schools next year. Hays' Thomas More Prep-Marian High School will join the league, and Trego will rejoin it after a one-year stay in the Northwest Kansas League. Other schools in the MCL are Norton, Ellis, Stockton, Plainville, Phillipsburg, Smith Center, Hill City and Oakley.
The finals of the MCL tournament were in Palco in 1972, then moved to Hays the next year and were played in Sheridan Coliseum on the FHSU campus. Construction of GMC was completed in the summer of 1973, and the 1974 MCL tourney then was moved there.