The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association announced that the 2017 College Table Tennis National Championships will be held at the McPhee Physical Education Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on April 6-9, 2017.
The Eau Claire Sports Commission partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Table Tennis Club to bid for the championships against destinations around the country. The other finalist in consideration to host the 2017 event was Biloxi, Miss. This marks the second time in three years Eau Claire will host the table tennis championship event as the event was also held at McPhee Physical Education Center in April of 2015.
This event marks another successful booking with the university since the signing of the groundbreaking memorandum of agreement for facility usage between UW-Eau Claire and Visit Eau Claire. “When we entered into our partnership with Visit Eau Claire, these are the kinds of events we envisioned bringing to campus and the Eau Claire community – this is additional proof of the value of our strategic partnership,” 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. “It’s once again great to see this partnership work to help benefit the entire community,” Visit Eau Claire Executive Director Linda John said. “It’s community partnerships like this that allow the university to gain additional exposure while creating sports tourism opportunities for the city of Eau Claire.”
The National Championships is one of the premier table tennis events in North America, featuring the best college table tennis teams around the world. “When we hosted the event in 2015 I heard from a number of campus and community members that they greatly appreciated being able to see these amazing athletes in action. The university is excited to again showcase that talent in Eau Claire,” 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.
Wednesday, April 5 will be a practice day while Thursday 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.
Destinations who have recently hosted the event besides Eau Claire include the following: Round Rock, Tex. (2016), Monroeville, Pa. (2014) and Rockford, Ill. (2013).
Visit Eau Claire effectively markets the Eau Claire area as a destination for conventions, group tours, 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!