SportsEvents Magazine

MAY 2018

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

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May 2018 20 www.sportseventsmagazine.com t SPECIAL Feature Butler County, Ohio, also attracts youth and amateur sports because of the one-of-a-kind attractions and experiences in a location within a days' drive of 65 percent of the population between Cincinnati and Dayton. "With experiences like the Donut Trail, Wake Nation and Jungle Jim's International Market, there's plenty to see, do and experience before and after the event," said Tracy Kocher, director of marketing for the Butler County Visitors Bureau. And Kocher said premier sports facili- ties in the area attract major tournaments and championships. "Our premier facility, Voice of America MetroPark and Athletic Complex, has hosted the USA Triathlon Youth and Junior Championships, USA Ultimate U.S. Open, and US Quidditch events, as well as lacrosse and soccer events," Kocher said. "This facility features a new fieldhouse as well as 22 multipurpose fields, two of which are lighted with turf. Another one of our facilities, Joyce Park, has hosted USA Archery JOAD National Target Championships. Other venues have hosted events through USA Weightlifting and AAU Girls basketball." Lincoln, Neb., has also been successful in attracting a variety of sports events, including events last year such as the USA Wrestling World Team Trials, The Good Life Halfsy half-marathon and the USA Roller Sports (USARS) National Championships. "We are great for sports events because of our incredible central loca- tion," said Derek Bombeck, sales development manager for the Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We are a short day's drive from many large cities from across the U.S. We have the convenience and cost of a smaller city with all the amenities of tier-one cit- ies. We've hosted everything from the Olympic Trials with USA Volleyball and the World Team Trials with USA Wrestling to Strider Nationals and the World Youth Bowling Championships." Bombeck adds that Lincoln worked hard last year to capture new events such as the 2020 and 2021 National High School Rodeo Championships, which will bring thousands of athletes and generate more than $8 million in economic impact each year. The CVB also secured the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball's inaugural Volleyball Nations League Event, one of the only women's events in the U.S. Lincoln will host four countries this month. Roller Sports, Anyone? Bombeck says Lincoln is also known as a roller sports mecca and when the USARS brought its national championship to town, the month-long event gave Lincoln residents, media and roller sports enthusi- asts an opportunity to support the unique sporting event that also, for the first time, included side-by-side competition floors thanks to the willingness of the local community to make it happen. In Central Illinois, Effingham is a popular small market within a two- to three-hour drive of Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis. "We see a lot of basketball and volley- ball tournaments in Effingham because we have a great collection of gyms in the area that are all available for use," said Jodi Thoele, director of tourism for the Effingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The Crossroads Classic Volleyball Tournament is a 24-team elite volleyball tournament, while the Girls Summer SIBC Shootout is a 100-team girls' basketball tournament. We also have a relatively new sports complex, the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Complex, that has a competi- tion-size pool and we've recently seen swim meets pick up." Luke Charpentier, sports manager of Basketball in Effingham, Ill. Cornhole in Bentonville, Ark. Visit Effingham Visit Bentonville

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