The Visit Eau Claire Sports Commission was created in 2000 as a division of Visit Eau Claire to provide local expertise for sports event planners. Effectively recognizing the potential for sports tourism in our area, the Sports Commission responded to the growing national trend and became a major player in the marketplace. The Sports Commission aims to educate the public concerning various sporting events, encourage participation and interest in recreational activity, and facilitate events in the Chippewa Valley for public participation, spectatorship, and overall enjoyment.
Visit Eau Claire has been hard at work promoting the resources, capabilities, and potential of the Eau Claire Area to sports event planners. Thus far in 2014, the work has paid off to produce impressively successful Quarter 1 results. The sports commission has secured events such as The Color Run and the National 3v3 Live Soccer Tour for this year. In addition to acquiring new contracts, the commission effectively fortified returners like the Biggest Loser Run/Walk, back again for 2014. These results not only span 2014, but spill over to 2015 for national events like the Snowshoe National Championships and the Collegiate Table Tennis National Championships.
Local facility agreements have assisted the Visit Eau Claire Sports Commission in securing many events and share in this success. For example, a recent collaborative partnership between Visit Eau Claire and the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire for facility usage allows events like the Collegiate Table Tennis National Championships to compete in our community in the future.
Not only do these sporting events provide recreational enjoyment to visitors and locals alike, they also positively impact our economy. The Color Run, scheduled to debut in Eau Claire on April 27 of this year, is alone estimated to bring $270,000 in economic impact from thousands of participants. In Quarter 1 the events secured by the sports commission have an estimated total economic impact of $718,200 from projected room tax and visitor spending. The Visit Eau Claire Sports Commission is looking forward to continued success during the rest of 2014 to bring more fun to the Eau Claire area.
Visit Eau Claire effectively markets the Eau Claire area as a destination for conventions, group tour, sporting events, and leisure markets; to promote economic growth; to enhance the area’s overall identity and image; to sell fun, promote fun, and most importantly, have fun.