FORT WAYNE – Three new sports tournaments to be hosted in Fort Wayne next year were unveiled at a news conference Wednesday, and Mayor Tom Henry believes their impact on the city’s economy will be profound.
The Junior Volleyball Association Girls Midwest Power League Championships will be at the new SportOne Parkview Fieldhouse from June 14 to 16.
The U.S. Olympic Curling Arena Club National Championships, hosted by the Fort Wayne Curling Club, will be at the Lutheran Health SportsCenter from July 18 to 21.
And the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s Playoff Tournament, hosted by the Fort Wayne Derby Girls, will be Sept. 6 to 8 at Memorial Coliseum.
Fort Wayne has a long and proud history of sports, Henry said. In total, we believe these sports will bring in over 4,000 people and contribute more than $500,000 toward economic impact for our community. That means jobs. It helps sustain jobs and create jobs, while bringing new money into our local businesses.
The introduction of these events was made at Citizens Square, in conjunction with Visit Fort Wayne.
The events have been helped by a grants program funded by the city, intended to help grow sports tourism.
These tournaments are very unique in that they represent sports you don’t normally think of (along with) basketball, hockey or soccer, which are very big around here, said Dan O’Connell, president/CEO of Visit Fort Wayne.
These are very special events, and we want to thank the leadership of the local chapters and local clubs that helped bring them here, and also to thank the facilities, some of the new facilities, that help in the economic spending in our community through business.
Jay Golsteyn, general manager of SportOne Parkview Fieldhouse, said more than 2,500 people from six different states will attend the volleyball event.
We are looking for great things to happen (at our facility), he said. We will have eight volleyball courts, six basketball courts, and it will be a home for many other types of sports in the area.
The Fort Wayne Curling Club was founded in 2010.
Curling is one of the fastest-growing sports in the Untied States and we’re eager to continue that growth here in our city, said Craig Fischer, the club’s president. We are beyond excited to slide the first stone in this tournament and to bring more events like this one to Fort Wayne.
The Derby Girls expect more than 1,000 skaters, volunteers and vendors.
Thanks to the huge success of past tournaments, such as Spring Roll and Fall Brawl at the Memorial Coliseum, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association chose Fort Wayne to host this event because of its unbelievable facilities, close proximity to over 30 roller derby leagues, the warm community feel and outstanding hosting abilities, said Shannon DisPennett, Derby Girls president.
Henry said he believes everyone attending these events will have a great time.
Each competitor will feel Hoosier hospitality while here in Fort Wayne, Henry said.