The Chino Hills boys basketball team has generated so much buzz the CIF has had to adjust on the fly as the postseason progresses.
After the Huskies (33-0) surged past El Cajon Foothills Christian 82-62 in the Open Division semifinal Tuesday night at Colony, the CIF released a new schedule and plans for the title game on Saturday against Bishop Montgomery at Long Beach State’s Pyramid.
Normally spectators could buy a ticket and it would be good for admission to all games that day. But because of the expected crowd, the venue will be cleared after the 5 p.m. game and another admission charged for the marquee game featuring the nation’s No. 1 ranked team.
Other games were each bumped an hour to allow organizers time to do that.
When announced most saw that as cha-ching, cha-ching let the cash register ring as the CIF stands to profit big time from another admission. Tickets are $16 for adults, $ for students and senior citizens and probably 5,000 can be crammed into the The Pyramid. Do the math.
But CIF spokesman Thom Simmons said it was more a matter of being able to accommodate fans from the schools in that last game, with a strong likelihood that people from the earlier games wouldn’t leave, meaning there would be little room left for those wanting to just see the final game and the ones that did get in would likely have to settle for lesser seats. That was the case last week at the Honda Center when Chino Hills also highlighted the bill.
Complicating matters, there are two schools from Long Beach playing earlier in the day so those games should also draw well.
“There have been times we didn’t draw 4,000 the entire day,” Simmons said. “That was one of the reasons we went from a bigger venue to the smaller one in the first place. “We’re dealing with something we have never had to deal with before and it’s a good problem to have.”
Simmons said the bigger venues the event has been held in have included Galen Center, The Forum, Long Beach Arena and Citizen’s Business Bank Arena in Ontario.
The contract with the Pyramid is up after this year and Simmons said the CIF would likely discuss all options. Chino Hills graduates only one player. Granted it’s Lonzo Ball. But they Huskies should still be very good so the level of interest in the team should remain high.
“I don’t think they’re going to drop of that much,” Simmons said. “They’re still going to be very good.”
Simmons says in his two decades he has never seen a team generate this much buzz so the CIF has had to take unprecedented measures.
Tickets are on sale at both schools and a limited number are available on line at www.LongBeachState.com/CIF. Once those tickets are sold out a limited number of “standing-room only” tickets will be available, also on line.