The state high school football tournament, the Prep Bowl, begins Friday at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
The tournament will feature 14 teams vying for a state title.
Kevin Merkle, the associate director of the Minnesota State High School League, expected 25,000 fans to attend the tourney over its two-day run.
"It's always a thrill," Merkle said, "and even though it's a 60,000-seat stadium and we don't have near that many people in there, it's still a great atmosphere. It gets noisy in there and the fans get excited, and it's a real fun experience for the kids."
The tournament added a seventh class this year for the largest schools in the state. Merkle said that has made the competition fairer for smaller schools.
"It wasn't about having more champions; it really was about having more fair competition," Merkle said. "Football is such a numbers game, and the bigger schools have an advantage."
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