How far should high school teams travel for games?

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

DURAND, WIS. (WEAU) -- For the last ten games, the Durand football team has been unstoppable.

But with their state quarter-final game being played nearly 3.5 hours away, the distance is enough to stop some fans from going.

"People are asking why is it gonna be somewhere else, can it be moved, why do we have to travel that far," said Greg Doverspike, the District Administrator for Durand.

Doverspike says high gas prices and long travel times for a two hour game have been enough to make some fans give it a second thought.

So, the district took its concerns to the WIAA, hoping to get the site changed.

"They did not deem it to be excessive travel, and they find it difficult to find neutral site locations," Doverspike said.

"I would say it's not uncommon for people to make those drives," said Wade Labecki, WIAA Deputy Director.

Labecki says the WIAA has made some re-arrangements for teams traveling more than four hours for their games.

"This is the first time the WIAA has done this in about the past 10 or 15 years," he said.

Labecki says the WIAA looks into alternate locations, like college stadiums. He says to rent space at UW-L, a site between Durand and Lancaster, would be about $2,000.

Doverspike has the same issue with cost.

"Four hours at this level is cost prohibitive and is tough for us," Doverspike said.

Around town, there is buzz about the game and the drive.

"I've had some conversations with some people that there are some concerns but the excitement hasn't died down," said Patrick Milliren, the mayor of Durand.

"We thought it would be in a neutral field, but I guess everybody figures that out some of the stuff you don't know," said Karen Schneider, a football mom.

Now, Doverspike hopes this concern will help start a conversation about how far teams should travel.

"It's an expense to families that want to support kids, community members that want to support their teams, and kids that want to support their friends," Doverspike added.

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