Fresno will reap rewards from the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships

By wayne.steffen on May 21, 2006 @ 4:00pm

The event is expected to generate nearly $1 million in hotel stays, meal purchases, transportation fees and other retail sales from about 1,500 athletes and coaches, as well as spectators, from more than 100 teams across the United States and Canada.

The championships will be at Fresno Pacific University in 2006 and 2007 and co-sponsored by the university and Fresno Sports Council. The council estimates economic impact based on an average of $140 being spent per person, per day.

"The Fresno Sports Council/SMG is thrilled to be hosting such a prestigious event," said Kelly Carr, sports council manager. "The NAIA and its member institutions, like Fresno Pacific, embody the highest level of athletic competition and integrity."

"The mission of the sports council is to attract events like the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships to our city. These events will not only generate revenue for the city, but position Fresno as a premier sports destination in the heart of Central California," Carr said.

FPU and the sports council offered the NAIA a total package. "It was clear as we went through the bid process that Fresno has all the right people on its team to create a phenomenal experience for athletes, fans and this community," said Ruth Feldblum, NAIA track & field administrator.

The outdoor track and field championships consist of 52 events and boast the largest participation of any NAIA national competition. Founded in 1937, the NAIA strives for exceptional standards in academics, diversity and character among its 300 member institutions, and is committed to changing the culture of sport through its Champions of Character program.

The Fresno Sports Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization managed by SMG for the city of Fresno. FSC�s appointed board of directors consist of city representatives and private citizens. The Philadelphia-based company manages 168 venues representing more than 1.3 million entertainment seats worldwide, and more than nine million square feet of exhibit space.