City hopes to repeat economic boom of Olympic Wrestling Trials

BY AMY SKARNULIS | JUNE 05, 2012 6:30 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Both city and University of Iowa officials say they look forward to hosting another national event in the community after seeing the success brought on by the Olympic wrestling trials held in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in April.

The trials were held April 20-22, and a survey recently found that the event brought in roughly $5.6 million for the Iowa City and Coralville area during the three-day period.

One Iowa City and Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau official said there is great interest in hosting a similar event again.

"Anytime we get an opportunity to host something like this in the future, we're going to go after it," said Josh Schamberger, the president of the bureau.

He compared the revenue generated by the event with UI home games during football season.

"The community can see what Hawkeye football does for it," he said. "The hotels and restaurants are filled."

UI spokesman Tom Moore said there will be positive effects down the road for the university because of the event.

"This was a very successful event that they may want to hold here again," he said. "Success breeds success. Obviously, with a legendary wrestling coach, that tradition grows."

According to a UI press release, 171 surveys were completed correctly by randomly selected fans. The visitors bureau conducted the surveys in the lobby of hotels, Carver-Hawkeye, and during the Fan Fest in downtown Iowa City.

Dan Matheson, a lecturer in the UI Recreation and Sports Business Program, picked a group of students to help conduct the survey after Schamberger said he needed help collecting the data.

"I have access to a lot of students," he said. "I put the word out to students I've taught and students who would be interested in it, but the [bureau] was responsible for putting the entire survey together."

Matheson didn't take part in reviewing the final numbers but said they indicate the financial success brought on by the trials.

"I'm happy about money flowing through the community," he said.

The average party consisted of approximately 3.5 people, and each party spent around $700, according to the survey.

Businesses in both Iowa City and Coralville profited from the trials being held in Iowa City. Although the tickets for the trials were only around $70, the average person spent about $200, Schamberger said.

The survey shows the city can credit most of its success to those from out of town.

"Anytime we host an event like that, it's significant for the community," Schamberger said. "Anytime you can bring that many people to the community, it's good business."

According to the UI press release, there were 14,214 fans present at the trials, and 82 percent of them were from outside Johnson County. Overall, 54,766 tickets were sold.

Only 3 percent of respondents were from Iowa City and did not actually attend the event. They reported being on campus for other events and activities.

The out-of-town wrestling fans had a large presence not only in Iowa City but also at other Olympic wrestling trials in previous years.

Two days before the matches began, 9,762 all-session tickets were sold, beating the previous record set in 2000 with more than 9,400 attending the trials held at the Reunion Arena in Dallas.

In today's issue:

comments powered by Disqus

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.