Topeka Lands 5-Year Deal to Host State's Largest Wrestling Tourney

By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp

KANSAS EXPOCENTRE, TOPEKA – Visit Topeka Inc., the Kansas Expocentre and the Topeka Lodging Association are pleased to announce that Topeka has been awarded a five year contract to host the USA Kansas Kids State Wrestling Tournament. 2012 will mark the 23rd year the tournament has been held at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka. With yesterday’s successful bid, the event will return annually through 2017.

The Kansas Kids State Wrestling Tournament brings 1,400 wrestlers and approximately 6,000 family members, coaches and friends to Topeka for two and a half days as athletes from across the state compete for the title of state champion. The estimated direct spending impact from this event to the Topeka community is $1,500,000 per year for a total of $7,500,000 for five years.

“This was a team effort from not only the staff of Visit Topeka Inc., but also the Kansas Expocentre, the Topeka Lodging Association and the citizens of Shawnee County,” said Olivia Simmons, president of Visit Topeka Inc. “This tournament will impact our local businesses and provide an increase in sales tax revenues, which will benefit the entire city.”

Representatives from the bidding partnership traveled to Salina on January 29 to present Topeka’s proposal. Wichita and Hays were also vying to win the contract for the state-wide March event.

District one representative and Topeka resident Mark Stanley serves on the tournament’s executive board. He reported that the bidding process was very competitive.

“We received three very good options from Topeka, Wichita and Hays,” Stanley said. “The USAWA’s executive board was very happy with the proposal that Topeka prepared. What stood out was Topeka’s guaranteed commitments to the tournament and the experience that our community has in hosting this event.“

Formal bid proposals were due to the tournament’s executive board at the end of December 2011. The Topeka bid proposal included letters of support from the mayor, county commissioners, Visit Topeka Inc., and the Topeka Lodging Association. Members of the bidding partnership cite the unity of Topeka’s hospitality industry as an important aspect of the successful bid.

“It is the genuine hospitality of our community that is the strength behind our bids when we go up against cities like Wichita that have new arenas and stronger financial backing,” said H.R. Cook, general manager of the Kansas Expocentre. “This event means a lot to the employees of the Expocentre and SMG and we look forward to hosting this event for another five years.”


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