SportsEvents Magazine

MAR 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 44 of 75 March 2018 45 If you think you know cheerleading, think again. It has become so much more than just girls—and sometimes boys— standing on the sidelines, cheering for their teams to win the game. Research shows there are approximately 4 million participants in cheerleading across the United States, from elementary school to college. It's in more than 70 countries around the world. Today, cheer and dance events are attracting more attendees and partici- pants than ever. In 2016, the College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship attracted 220 teams, an increase of 14 percent from the previous year, and more than 20,000 spectators. For the last five years, 9 Panel Production has hosted the Allstar Jam in Asheville, N.C., an event that draws athletes from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee. Each year, the event producer has seen an increase in par- ticipation, with approximately 300 athletes attending the event earlier this year. "We have seen participation and interest in the sport increase each year," said Kiel Pratt, 9 Panel Production's judging coordinator. "We started out with less than 20 teams at this event and now we have well over 60." Oklahoma is a hotbed for competitive cheer and dance. Annually, Oklahoma City University hosts the Oklahoma State Dance Team Directors' Association State Championships, which attracts more than 1,000 competitors and 4,000 fans each year. Oklahoma City hosted the 2017 NAIA Competitive Cheer and Dance National Championship, which was the first year for NAIA to change from the Cheer and Dance Invitational to a National Championship. Twenty-four teams com- peted, 12 in cheer and 12 in dance, with approximately 25 to 30 people traveling with each team. "We anticipated about 700 competitors and around 1,000 to 1,500 fans each day, for a total of 1,100 hotel rooms for the entirety of the competition," said Erin Randall, Oklahoma City CVB's sports business manager. "It was a great event and it was made even better when our very own Oklahoma City University won the inaugu- ral Cheer National Championship." ► t SPORT Report BE CHEERING FOR! FOR AN EVENT THEY'LL BEAST OF THE EAST CHEERLEADING For their annual event, the Beast of The East Cheerleading Competition jumps at the chance at having it at The Wildwoods Convention Center every April. Can you blame them? With 260,000 square feet of flexible space, convenient access to five beautiful miles of free beaches, a variety of nearby accommodations and an iconic boardwalk, youth events here are anything but routine. Choose the Wildwoods Convention Center and your young guests will be giving it an 'A' for Awesome! SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT EVENT WITH US! 800-992-9732 Modern amenities | State-of-the-art communication services | Catering/concession services | Adjacent to Wildwoods world-famous boardwalk and 5 miles of FREE beaches | Over 8,000 hotel rooms nearby | Convenient on-site parking for over 700 vehicles

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