Athletics bring big bucks to Valdosta - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Athletics bring big bucks to Valdosta

March 15, 2004

Valdosta - Hundreds of athletes and sports fans flocked to Valdosta over the weekend for the NCAA Division 2 Men's Basketball Tournament. Most of the players have come and gone, but they left behind a big boost for Valdosta's economy. "They're spending their dollars in our community," said Herb Reinhard, VSU Athletic Director.

The tournament brought in seven teams from around the country. "The teams themselves will have generated about 440 room nights," said Reinhard.

And hundreds of hotel rooms means thousands of dollars in hotel bills. "This tournament means an estimate of about $250,000.00 for the city's economy," said Marty Brown, Tourism Authority Director. That's not even including the fans that followed them. "It's the fans that really impact the economy as far as eating in the restaurants and going out to the night clubs," said Brown.

This past weekend's tournament isn't the only athletic event attracting visitors. During the first week in March, V.S.U. hosted four different tournaments, bringing hundreds of people to Lowndes County. "There were a total of 44 high school and college teams that came to Valdosta over a four day stretch," said Reinhard.

And plans for the next athletic event are already underway, bringing even more money into this community.

posted at 3:50 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com

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