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State high school league slashes tournament reimbursements, bans drones

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There will be no reimbursement checks coming for Minnesota high schools that send sports teams to state tournaments.

The Minnesota State High School League's Board of Directors has voted to suspend reimbursements for the year. According to the Star Tribune, there was only about $32,734 left over for the reimbursements after the high school league had to deal with rising tournament costs and shrinking ticket revenue.

It's a big change, but it wasn't a big surprise. The newspaper notes that there was more than $1 million left for reimbursement in 2008-09. That had fallen to about $245,000 during 2013-14.

According to a WCCO report last fall, the high school league warned school districts to expect smaller reimbursement checks.

MPR News notes that attendance for the state football tournament semifinals and championship games was off by nearly 50 percent last school year, when the games were moved outside for the first time in 33 years.

"The weather was horrible last year and that's why the numbers were down," said MSHSL Executive Director Dave Stead to the Star Tribune. "Once we get in the new building I'm sure a number of people are going to want to come."

That wasn't the only change the high school league made though.

Citing liability concerns the high school league board also voted to ban the use of drones at all league sanctioned events.

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