Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Chris Cannon, Director of Communication
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NAIA Championship generates $1.1 million in local economy
ROME, GA. — The 2012 NAIA National Championship played on December 13 in Rome, Ga. is estimated to have created approximately $1.1 million in the local economy of Floyd County, according to the Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB).
GRCVB officials estimate that over 2,000 out-of-town visitors traveled into Rome for Thursday evening’s game. The championship was held between Morningside College of Sioux City, Iowa and Marian University of Indianapolis, Ind.
“For the first time in our history of hosting the game, we had two new teams – one being within a very drivable distance,” said Ann Hortman, GRCVB sports and events coordinator and Rome Host Committee coordinator for championship week.
“Both schools realized the importance having their students in attendance at the game,” said Hortman. “The game has always conflicted with finals and both Marian and Morningside adjusted their rules regarding finals week in order to try to accommodate those fans who wish to attend the game. Morningside has a student population of 1,200, and Marian 2,200 – they both were very well represented in Rome.”
The event is estimated to have generated at least 1,600 hotel room nights in Rome from Monday, Dec. 10 to Friday, Dec. 14. Teams are housed in the Holiday Inn Express and the Jameson Inn. Fans and officials were spread throughout the city’s 18 hotels and motels.
“December is generally a slow time for non-holiday related travel across the United States, so this game offers our hotels, restaurants, merchants and other businesses the prime opportunity to turn a flat month into the black,” said Lisa Smith, GRCVB executive director.
“While the overall impact numbers are down from years past, we assisted many more groups with planning help this year – from parties in Broad Street restaurants to catering tailgates,” said Smith. “This is further evidence of the impact that this game has on the small-business owners of the community who would have no other large groups of business during this time of the year on a Thursday night.”
Thursday’s match-up was broadcast nationally on CBS College Sports Network. In years past, the game has been played and broadcast live on Saturday evenings; however, due to broadcast scheduling, the game was moved to Thursday play.
“The exposure provided by national media coverage is priceless – from the simple mentions from the broadcasters to photo coverage of our beautiful downtown, we will benefit for years to come from every element of a nation-wide television broadcast,” said Smith.
The championship has been hosted in Rome since 2008 and has infused over $6 million into the local economy through travel and tourism during that time period. Rome and Floyd County will host the NAIA Football National Championship through 2013.
The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) is the official destination and sports marketing organization of Rome and Floyd County, Georgia. The GRCVB’s mission is to strengthen the economic fabric of the community through tourism development by attracting leisure travelers, conventions, meetings, sports and events.