Lincoln’s March Madness
We often hear the term “fans in stands” when talking about drawing outside events to Lincoln. But drawing an event to Lincoln is more than ticket sales. For our community, drawing events to Lincoln means more people going out to eat, more people staying overnight, more people using services from car repair to urgent care. A Dean Runyan and Associates report estimated that in 2012, direct travel spending in Lancaster County was $414.7 million. It takes the entire community to make it happen.
The Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) event partners are valuable to us. One of those is the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) who recently re-awarded Lincoln the NSAA State High School Volleyball Championships for 2017-2019. We have the best grouping of facilities to host such contests. The NSAA noted that Lincoln was able to grow the attendance over the past three years. That’s good for high school volleyball, and it’s good for Lincoln.
Case in point, you’ve seen Lincoln’s own March Madness with our hosting this year’s NSAA Girls and Boys High School Basketball Championships. Using industry formulas, the 2010 Boys State High School Basketball Tournament had an estimated impact of $3.2 million. The 2010 Girl’s State High School Basketball Tournament had an estimated $2.1 million impact. The financial impact of hosting these tournaments grows alongside attendance increases.
To complement high school sporting events, your CVB staff is busy recruiting large groups from the religious and non-profit sector; plus business meetings and association gatherings. We work with City and County officials, as well as tourism partners across the community, to draw attention to the Railyard District, Haymarket, Lancaster Event Center, shopping, and local attractions. There are so many businesses across Lincoln who are busy putting on events and activities for our citizens and out-of-town guests.
In 2016, more than 82 percent of all proposals submitted by the LCVB were targeted to attract regional or national events. That is a five-year high.
Examples of those events include our ongoing relationship with USA Roller Sports, the World Tenpin Youth Bowling Championships this past year, the Olympic volleyball qualifying tournament in January 2016 and the recent announcement with our partner the Lancaster Events Center (LEC). Lincoln will host the 2020 and 2021 National High School Rodeo Finals with a chance to host again in 2026 and 2027, at the LEC. This is one of the few times the rodeo finals will be held outside of Wyoming and speaks volumes about Lincoln’s ability to attract and land high caliber national and regional events.
All that said, we couldn’t do it without you. Lincoln knows how to roll out the hospitality. Our business community provides the hotels, services, and infrastructure that make Lincoln a great place to work and live—and, a great place to visit.
Get out and see a game!
The Chamber’s mission is to improve the lives of Lincoln residents by providing increased economic opportunity and can only be accomplished together. For more information on the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, (www.lcoc.com) please contact Jaime Henning at firstname.lastname@example.org.