For a fee, fans can watch the Hanson Classic online this year.
The popular girls and boys basketball classics are this Saturday and Jan. 23, respectively. Due to COVID-19, the event organizers will follow Corn Palace guidelines. Facemasks are required inside the Corn Palace, while capacity will be limited to 50 percent of the 3,200-seat venue.
Fans can watch the classics online at Beavers.LiveTicket.Tv for $12.50 all day this year. It won’t be available locally on Mitchell Telecom, said Hanson Athletic Director Jim Bridge.
“We’ve worked with Mitchell Telecom and we’ve had good luck with them,” Bridge said. “We had to cut that tie for this year and try it this way with the LiveTicket.”
The Winner-based LiveTicket.Tv provided the same service at the 2020 South Dakota amateur baseball tournament. Similar to that event, fans will have to log-in and purchase passes on Beavers.LiveTicket.Tv.
“That’s new this year and we are trying it to see if it’s something that will work for us,” Bridge added.
This Saturday’s eight-game classic starts at 10 a.m. and concludes at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.
Courtside reserved seats won’t be available this year, while fans won’t be allowed to sit on the stage directly behind the scorers table. Games will start 15 minutes following the completion of the previous game. Teams won’t use the Armory gym to warm up before games.
Bridge said event organizers didn’t consider altering this year’s schedule or moving it to a two-day event.
“It’s just impossible to do that when you don’t have the matchups and the matchups we just put together in the last few days,” Bridge said. “It was hard to prepare for that, that far in advance.”
This Saturday’s action starts with Avon facing Faulkton Area at 10 a.m., followed by Lennox against Bridgewater-Emery at 11:30 a.m. Parkston plays Flandreau at 1 p.m., Class B No. 5 Hanson takes on Waubay/Summit at 2:30 p.m. and Class A No. 5 Sioux Falls Christian takes on McCook Central/Montrose at 4 p.m.
The final three games include ranked matchups. Class A No. 4 Hamlin faces Class B No. 3 White River at 5:30 p.m., Class A No. 3 Winner takes on Class B No. 4 Ethan at 7 p.m. and Class A No. 1 St. Thomas More plays Class B No. 1 Corsica-Stickney at 8:30 p.m.
The boys classic pairings will be released this Saturday.