Tournaments Economic Impact

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

This weekend, Diddle Arena will be filled with rabid high school basketball fans as part of the Ladies' Sweet 16 Tournament like it has for the past few years.

Thats good news for the city of Bowling Green.

KHSAA loves bringing the tournament to Bowling Green. They know the community. They know the facilities at Western and they're very pleased with us being the location for that.

Vicki Fitch of the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau says the basketball tournament, plus the Kentucky High School Speech Tournament that will also be this weekend will draw many guests to the area.

Fitch says that translates into more green.

"Well, its a major economic impact for Bowling Green and Warren County. It possibly would be in the millions with so many of these events going on at once."

Fitch says in the case of both tournaments, the longer out-of-area guests stay in town the more revenue the city would get.

"When they stay multiple days, they have time to actually get a feel for our community. They have time to eat in our restaturants and shop in our shops and shop in our mall."

The extended stay also means that all Bowling Green hotels will be filled to capacity.

The Holiday Inn University Plaza is currently housing close to 200 visitors for the Sweet 16 Tournament.

Colleen Viter says rooms for the tournament have been off the market for a while.

"About 2 months ago is when things started kicking in and we get a rooming list, a list of names. We have all the staff that stays at our hotel."

Although the tournaments mean more work for the dollar, Fitch says the city is more than capable of taking on the challenge.

"Bowling Green is ready for it. They are used to doing these tournaments that occur at the same time. The hotels and restaurants know how to handle it. They are prepared."

The State High School Speech Tournament kicks off at Western on Saturday.

The Sweet 16 Tournament will run through Saturday night.

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