NWAACC Hoops Tournament to Remain in Tri-Cities for at least three more yearsPosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash -The Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) is bringing their Men's and Women's Basketball Championships back to the Tri-Cities for three more years, from 2009-2011. NWAACC has held their basketball championships in the Tri-Cities for the past six years and had previously made a commitment to the Toyota Center through 2008. The Toyota Center's ability to hold both the men's and women's championships simultaneously was a key factor in the decision. There was discussion among the NWAACC staff and their executive board members about choosing a new location from among several communities that have expressed interest in hosting the event. The Tri-Cities, recognizing the significance of this tournament and the economic impact it has on the community, stepped forward to secure the event for the next three years.
Charles Warner, director of marketing for NWAACC, stated, "Tri-Cities area community leaders and representatives have reached out to our association. The NWAACC Basketball Tournament is one of the biggest tournaments of the year for our member schools." Continued Warner, "NWAACC and its executive board feel the increase in community involvement over the last several years is something we can build on. We are confident the Toyota Center and the community are up to the challenge of continuing to provide a top-notch experience for our athletes, coaches, spectators, and staff."
Jeff Kossow, executive director of the Three Rivers Campus stated, "The Toyota Center, VenuWorks, and the Kennewick Public Facilities District are pleased to welcome NWAACC's basketball championships back in 2009, 2010, and 2011. We understand how important this event is to NWAACC, its athletes, and the Tri-Cities community. We want NWAACC to know there are plans in place for Toyota Center improvements which will help us better serve this tournament in the upcoming years. But for now, we truly look forward to a successful relationship with them and their staff."
Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau President and CEO Kris Watkins stated, "This announcement is significant for our community-not only in terms of visitor spending, but in positioning the Tri-Cities as a premier sports destination. Each year NWAACC brings over 1,000 people into our community, which translates into approximately $375,000 in direct visitor spending for our local restaurants, retailers, gas stations, grocery stores, and hotels." Continued Watkins, "Hosting prestigious events, such as NWAACC's basketball championships, generates positive publicity for the Tri-Cities in addition to directly supporting local jobs. The Visitor & Convention Bureau and the Bureau's Sports Council are pleased NWAACC has committed to the Tri-Cities for the next three years and we will do everything we can to ensure their event is a success."