Article by Susan El Khoury - WILX.com
From the National Curling Championship to high school baseball and softball championships, there's plenty of big sporting events this weekend around town. It's all drawing in thousands of fans willing to spend big money, both at the game and at local businesses.
Whether they're going for a home run or sliding across the ice, the fans are out cheering their teams on. But there's something else many spectators are doing.
"You always come to the ball game and buy food hot-dogs that's what it's all about," said one fan after the high school softball championships.
Win or lose fans are spending money at the games and around the city. All that cash is giving the local economy a boost.
"Anytime that you have all these events taking place in your community over the weekend it generates a great amount of economic impact," said Mike Price, executive director of the Greater Lansing Sports Authority
Tourism in Lansing is generate $700 million each year. So event organizers hope this weekends big crowds will help that number grow.
"Whether it be through hotel concession, gas, entertainment dollars merchandise, you name it they're out there spending it in the community," Price added.
The money fans bring is adding up. The Greater Lansing Sports Authority estimates that overnight visitors spend about $260 a day with those stopping by for the day spending about $100. That's a lot of green going back into the local economy.
If visitors need help deciding what to do after the game, organizers are handing out plenty of information about where to go.
"It shows the community is invested in bringing people in to show them all the things that Lansing has," said Mark McElwee with the Lansing Curling Club, who helped organize the championship.
They're trying to make sure that this trip will be one of more to come.
"We always want them to come back," Price said. "That's where the second visit starts is at the first visit."