Jamestown Civic Center preparing for Class B girls hoops state tourney

Feb. 24—JAMESTOWN — For the first time since the 2004-05 season, the NDHSAA Class B Girls' Basketball State Tournament is returning to the Jamestown Civic Center, and droves of people will be coming to the Buffalo City.

The task of preparing for the tournament, which runs from Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 29-March 2, falls on many people including Jim Roaldson, tournament manager, and Jamestown Civic Center Director Pam Fosse.

"There's a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation as far as ticket sales, where fans are going to sit, where athletes and tournament teams are going to stay," Fosse said. "There's preparations for the hospitality room, there's preparations in the locker rooms and of course we purchased a new basketball floor. We also have to make preparations for student seating and any of those other updates in the facility that we've needed."

Fosse said the Civic Center got the new basketball court in September with an eye toward hosting the state tournament.

While Roaldson and Fosse said they don't know how many people will attend the three-day tournament, they expect the event to be a big draw to Jamestown. As of Thursday, Feb. 22, Tom Mix, media specialist for the North Dakota High School Activities Association, said there have been 18 requests for a press pass.

Fosse said the building will be adding concession stands to help meet the needs of those in attendance.

"We'll have a portable concession stand down on the arena floor as well as the north and south concession stands," Fosse said. "We'll also have a fourth concession stand serving ice cream and hopefully that will be enough to keep the lines moving fast and the customers happy."

Roaldson said one challenge in finding individuals to help work the state tournament includes the Blue Jays basketball teams possibly playing in the Western Dakota Association tournament over the same weekend, meaning there could be fewer people in Jamestown who want to work the state tournament.

However, Roaldson said LaMoure Public Schools Superintendent Mitch Carlson has helped out tremendously in getting him in contact with other local people who are willing to work the tournament.

"He's handled a lot of the detail things that maybe I haven't been able to get to, just the fact that we're already running a bunch of tournaments prior to it and after it, it complicates things," Roaldson said. "So having somebody like Mitch around who can take the bull by the horns and do a lot of the leg work has been very instrumental in what we hope to have a successful tournament."

The Civic Center will also host the Class B District 2 and Region 1 boys basketball tournaments.

Roaldson said some of the differences between the other tournaments and the state tournament involve the advertising that is allowed and more people needed to help.

"This is different in that we're working far more closely with the North Dakota High School Activities Association as well as the tournament committee," Fosse said. "There are a lot of different schools involved that may not have been to the Jamestown Civic Center before or have not played in our arena so there's a lot more behind-the-scenes work taking place."

Fosse said she is hoping the state tournament returns every year to Jamestown with the community's support. Fosse said she expects the hotels and restaurants in town to be impacted more financially than the Civic Center with the tournament coming to Jamestown.

"I think one of the biggest aspects of this tournament is making sure the community is prepared and aware of the tournament coming in," Fosse said. "The restaurants and the hotels will be completely full for three solid days if not longer and I think it's just trying to get the word out and make sure everybody is prepared for that so the tournament continues to return to Jamestown is vital."

Fosse said the Civic Center is hiring workers and people in the community are volunteering to work the state tournament. She also said participating schools in the tournament will provide help.