Claremore Daily Progress

May 19, 2013

RSU bats $243,000 into local economy with NAIA tourney

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

Rogers State University  gave  the City of Claremore an economic boost as the recent hosts of the NAIA Baseball and Softball opening round tournaments.
Visit Claremore, a partner with RSU, reported an economic impact of $243,000 during the eight-day event.
More than 3,000 people were in attendance for the tournaments and more than 20 local businesses supported the event, according to Ryan Bradley, RSU Athletic Director.
The tournaments featured nine teams from six different states, he added.
“Visit Claremore is a proud partner of RSU and the RSU Hillcats. Hosting the NAIA Opening Rounds of both Baseball & Softball was a great opportunity to showcase Rogers State University, the City of Claremore, and the entire community,” said Executive Director Tanya Andrews. “Area businesses quickly showed their support by hosting a meal in the hospitality suite (for the coaches, umpires, etc.), offering discounts in their stores and restaurants, hung banners and posters in their store fronts, and attending a game or two.”  
Andrews said an estimated $143,500 was spent on team spending and $100,000 spent by family and fans.
This includes more than 400 room nights in area hotels, she added. The estimate of visitor spending included lodging, meals, attractions, ticketed events and shopping.
The actual numbers that will reflect the tournaments’ impact will be seen in the next few months through sales and lodging tax collections, according to Andrews.
“RSU plays an integral part in the community and it was nice to see a venue with a regional tournament in Claremore. It brings people from all over the country to see the great city of Claremore,” said Claremore City Manager Jim Thomas.
 “Our mission is to recruit visitors, group business, and new events; and this was a prime example of just that. It takes many partners to raise the dollars required to pay for bid fees and Visit Claremore, along with many area businesses stepped in as sponsors to ensure it was successful,” Andrews said.
Visit Claremore also delivered more than 300 welcome bags to visiting teams and posters to area business, developed promotional discounts as well as volunteered in the hospitality suite. 
“I am so very proud of our university and thrilled to have been a part of the events. I look forward to working with Ryan Bradley, A.D. RSU Hillcats and the entire staff of RSU for years to come,” Andrews said.
“Hosting the NAIA National Baseball and Softball Tournaments was a great honor and a huge success for Claremore and Rogers State University. We were thrilled with the show of support from our community,” Bradley said. 
“The positive feedback we received from visiting players, fans and coaches was overwhelming. Hopefully, the success of these tournaments will open up new opportunities for us to showcase our athletic facilities, university and community in the near future.”
RSU had more than 1,000 visitors to their website per day during the tournament, according to Bradley.