Swim trials, Figure skating championships and Battles On Ice all big draws in the past eight months.
The three major sports events hosted by the Omaha Sports Commission (OSC) over the past eight months are paying dividends to the city and state. Omaha Sports Commission President Harold Cliff said the three events - the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming, 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships and Mutual of Omaha’s Battles on Ice - provided unique sporting opportunities while showcasing Omaha on the national stage.
"Attendance for these three events totaled 271,368 and generated a combined estimated economic impact of more than $50 million," Cliff said. "Just as important was the national exposure the events provided Omaha and the State of Nebraska. The Olympic Swim Trials and U.S. Figure Skating Championships had 16 hours of live or taped coverage on NBC, while dozens of national newspapers carried stories."
- The Olympic Swim Trials, held June 25 to July 2, 2012, drew 167,048 fans and generated an estimated economic impact of more than $30 million. NBC broadcast the Trials live for eight straight nights, while a national cable channel aired coverage during the day. More than 250 media were credentialed for the Trials.
- The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held January 20 to 27, 2013, drew 90,760 fans and generated an estimated economic impact of nearly $20 million. NBC aired eight hours of live or tape-delayed coverage of the weekend championships. More than 120 media were credentialed for the championships
- Mutual of Omaha’s Battles on Ice on February 9, 2013, drew 13,560 fans and had several million dollars of estimated impact as large number of North Dakota and Lincoln fans attended the event. It was the first USHL hockey game ever played outdoors, and one of the only outdoor college hockey games played this season.
Omaha Sports Commission Board Chair Lisa Roskens said OSC has more events planned for 2013.
"We are very proud of the significant contributions these three events have made to our community and state, and our efforts will continue," Roskens said. "Later this month we’ll host the Short Track Speedskating Championships and our goal is to provide people a wide variety of sports championships throughout the year."
Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority President and CEO Roger Dixon said Omaha has become known as one of America’s great amateur sports communities.
"It all started with the NCAA Men’s College World Series, but in the past 10 years we have taken sports championships to a new level," Dixon said. The results once again demonstrate the wisdom of community leaders and the public to build CenturyLink Center Omaha, TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, and create the Omaha Sports Commission. We have the organization and facilities to compete on a national scale for major sporting championships."
Robert Watson, general manager of Hilton Omaha, and Joe Gudenrath, executive director of the Downtown Improvement District, said OSC events were a tremendous boost to the local economy, especially downtown businesses.
"Hilton Omaha experienced outstanding business from Omaha Sports Commission events, as have many other area hotels," Watson said. "The two events in 2013 were held during a traditionally slow time for our industry, so the activity was greatly appreciated."
"Restaurants, retail stores and attractions benefitted from OSC events the past eight months," Gudenrath said. "Few cities in the country can attract thousands of fans to sports such as swimming and figure skating, but people consistently support these events."