The Visit Eau Claire Sports Commission partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Table Tennis Club to bid for the championships against three other destinations. These three competing destinations included Marshfield, WI, Hampton, VA, and South Bend, IN.
This event is the first sporting event secured with the university since the signing of the groundbreaking memorandum of agreement for facility usage between UW-Eau Claire and Visit Eau Claire. "This is exactly the kind of result we envisioned when we entered into our agreement with Visit Eau Claire. Working together is a powerful way for us to achieve mutual goals of increasing tourism to benefit our campus and community," said James Schmidt, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor.
The facility use agreement was structured to provide Visit Eau Claire with preferred scheduling of university facilities during off-peak university calendar periods. "This agreement has opened the door to millions of dollars of potential visitor spending through sporting events that we have previously been unable to go after," Visit Eau Claire's Executive Director, Linda John said. "It is a shining example of how successful community partnerships can be."
The National Championships is one of the premier table tennis events in North America, featuring the best college table tennis teams in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. "We greatly appreciate Visit Eau Claire's efforts to attract this national event," added Chancellor Schmidt. The event features a myriad of different men and women; student-athletes from diverse backgrounds, with Olympians and Olympic hopefuls among them. Seven different singles, doubles, team and Paralympic events make up the championships.
Thursday, April 9 will be a practice day while Friday through Sunday will serve as competition days. Approximately 40 teams are expected to compete at the championships while each team averages four to eight players, plus coaches and chaperones, totaling approximately 1,000 participants and anticipated spectators. Visitors are expected to book over 300 hotel rooms with an estimated total economic impact from the event to the Eau Claire Area of $80,000.
Previous locations to host the National Collegiate Table Tennis Championships include: Rockford, IL (2013), Plano, TX (2012), and Rochester, MN (2010). The 2014 championships will be in Monroeville, PA.
Visit Eau Claire effectively markets the Eau Claire area as a destination for conventions, group tour, sporting events, and leisure markets; to promote regional economic growth; to enhance the area's overall identity and image; to sell fun, promote fun, and most importantly - Have FUN!