Friday, March 28, 2008

St. Louis Sports Commission Goes to the Mat to Land NCAA Wrestling Championships

After a shattering attendance records, Frank Viverito and the St. Louis Sports Commission are making a pitch to the NCAA to become the permanent home of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Next year, St. Louis will host the tournament for the second straight year, and for the fifth time this decade. Next summer, the Sports Commission will be making bids to host the tournament every year from 2012 to 2015.

About 10,000 hotel rooms were booked during the tournament, an estimated 15,000 visitors flooded the downtown streets and, organizers say, injected economic impact of $10 million.

And according to the Sports Commission:

A record 96,994 fans attended the 2000 Championships in St. Louis. The total attendance of 95,459 at Savvis Center in 2005 was the second-highest in the tournament's 75-year history. Based on an economic impact survey conducted at the 2000 event, the Championships attract 15,000 visitors to St. Louis, account for 12,000 hotel room nights and generate an estimated $10 million in economic impact.

And as mentioned in a recent article:

Viverito said St. Louis' experience and success running the event make it the perfect choice, not to mention an ideal location in the middle of wrestling territory without any school claiming an advantage. The top three attendance figures in event history are all in St. Louis.

"It's the absolute center of wrestling interest and yet a neutral site," Viverito said. "And downtown is a perfect fit. It's all walkable, compact, and the people are comfortable here.

"It's great business but it's gone beyond business. We love the event."
St. Louis is fortunate to have a great organization like the Sports Commission working on its behalf. Let's hope they can convince the NCAA to make the city the permanent home of the wrestling championships.

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