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Copyright 2014 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.
Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
By Steven Matthews
 
KETTERING - The annual Flyin' To The Hoop basketball invitational in Kettering this weekend is expected to pump nearly $2 million into the local economy, according to local officials.

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the 12th annual event, which unfolds Friday through Monday at Kettering Fairmont's Trent Arena.

This year's four-day, 22-game event will be the largest tournament in its history, said founder and president Eric Horstman. A total of 37 teams, with 11 states represented, will be featured.

It's the seventh year Fly-in' To The Hoop will be held at Trent Arena after spending the first five years at Vandalia-Butler's Student Activity Center.

"It makes us feel pretty good to do something like this for the community every year," Horstman said. "There's not a ton happening in mid-January in Dayton. It's not a resort town or beach town. People are coming here to spend time in Dayton and pumping money into the area."

Jacquelyn Powell, president and CEO of the Dayton/ Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said Flyin' To The Hoop is one of the top 10 annual events in the county in terms of economic impact. The annual Winter Guard International World Championships is the No. 1 event, generating $15 million annually for the local economy.

Last year's Flyin' To The Hoop impact was approximately $1.9 million, and Powell said she expects a similar figure this year. Factors that go into determining the economic impact include ticket sales, hotel rooms, meals at restaurants, retail sales, gasoline purchases and flights into Dayton, she said.

"It's a very important event," Powell said. "It happens in a month where business tends to be a bit slower in the travel and tourism area. We're really thankful that this is an event (Eric) has decided to keep here in our community. We're pleased to have an opportunity to showcase Kettering and Montgomery County."

Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said the city writes a welcome letter that's placed in the tournament programs, as well as distributes a map of local restaurants to the teams.

"Nothing bad comes from this event," Schwieterman said. "It really shows off the region and Kettering. We certainly want to keep it here in Kettering."

Horstman - whose organization pays for the majority of travel expenses and hotel accommodations - said ticket sales are up, along with media requests and the expected number of college coaches who will attend the event. He also said more than 85 teams contacted him with interest in playing this year.

Trent Arena has a seating capacity of 4,400, but Horstman admitted that "something will have to be done at some point." He said the only other options in the area are UD Arena and the Nutter Center, but NCAA regulations prohibit the tournament from being played there because they are Division I venues.

"When demand exceeds supply, you've got to figure out what to do about it," he said. "We don't want to move out of the Dayton area, but we don't want to leave the opportunity laying on the table because we're leaving people at the door. Our goal is to make it a bigger and better event every year. We one-up ourselves every year."

Contact this reporter at 937-225-2281 or smatthews@coxohio.com Follow him on Twitter@StevenWMatthews.

 
January 14, 2014
 
 
 

 

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