TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The 2021 First Financial Wabash Valley Classic kicked off Monday at Terre Haute South Vigo High School, with many high school basketball teams throughout the area participating.

The four-day tournament presents big financial gains for each team involved and also for the Terre Haute community, according to event organizers.

Tournament Director Ticia Wright said that schools took a big hit last year with the tournament being abbreviated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that all the revenue that would have been earned was missed. She added that organizers are looking into even more revenue opportunities for schools including the ad sales.

“Next year we’re going to look at those opportunities again for those schools,” Wright said. “A lot of those schools make a lot of money doing that and they keep 100% of those proceeds.”

Wright explained that schools earn around $4,000 just from playing the minimum amount of games. Money earned from ticket sales and sponsor dollars are all dispersed back into the participating schools.

The revenue available goes even beyond the schools, Wright said. The tournament hosts schools from all over the Wabash Valley which means there’s more people around the city of Terre Haute. Wright said that this is big for surrounding businesses like hotels and restaurants.

“As people come into Terre Haute from throughout the Wabash Valley to support this tournament, we’d like to think that they’d see an uptick in their business,” Wright said.

The First Financial Wabash Valley Classic will conclude on Thursday, Dec. 30.