Funding approved for Iowa Regional Sports Authority Districts - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Funding approved for Iowa Regional Sports Authority Districts

Ten regions in Iowa will get an economic edge to attract big time sports events.  Iowa Governor Chet Culver named 10 Iowa cities as Regional Sports Authority Districts giving them $50,000 each to promote and attract non-professional sports events.  It could bring added tourism benefits to many communities in Iowa.  The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum has definitely seen better times in its short history in Waterloo.  The June floods swamped its downtown Waterloo home.  About 20% of the collection couldn't be restored.  "The good news is FEMA's gonna help us out with a big chunk of money. Our original plan was to be open in early January," says Museum Marketing Director Kent Sesker.  Early January is when the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Wrestling Duals will be held for the 3rd of 6 straight years at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.  Events like this help bring more visitors to the Cedar Valley.  "Sporting events are very attractive. Families come to watch. There are a lot of things to do outside the competition," says Cedar Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau Manager Kim Burger.  Tourism leaders say the $50,000 grant from the state will help the Cedar Valley Sports Commission and others in the state to continue to land big events.  "This will give us an opportunity to go after events we otherwise wouldn't have. We're looking at a regional badminton tournament that we can go after more aggressively now," says Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Aaron Buzza.  While the wrestling museum won't see any direct benefit from the latest grant, any tourism draw should bring more people through the doors once it's back open.  The Cedar Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau will help administer the funds in Linn County.  Leaders there say the grant will help them promote many of the tournament sites that survived the June flood.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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