American Cup To Bring Attention & Dollars To GSO

4:42 PM, Sep 5, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- World-class gymnastics will be competing in the AT&T American Cup in Greensboro come March 2014.

Ahead of the event, one of the biggest names in gymnastics, Coach Bela Karolyi, was in the Triad promoting the championship competition.

The event is getting a lot of attention for several reasons including the caliber of international gymnasts--men and women--it will attract as well as the impact on the Greensboro community.

Thursday at Tumblebee's Ultimate Gym, most of the coaches were out at the news conference featuring Karolyi. 

Sally Newton says the entire gymnastics community in the state is excited about the event. It's also a chance for her young, aspiring Olympians to see their idols in their hometown.

"Of course the little ones don't know what type of commitment and dedication it takes to hit that level, and that's why bringing events like the American Cup here lets them really, it's a tangible thing that they can grab onto and say 'she can do it, I can do it,'" Newton said.

For the city, it's even more than that. There will be national attention through the television broadcast of the event. 

Henri Fourrier, the president of the Greensboro Convention and Visitor's Bureau, projects there will also be a $6.5 million economic impact.

"And take local taxes off $6 million; that goes back into the general fund of the city of Greensboro to help keep us safe by paying police, and firemen and so forth," he said. 

Fourrier's recruiting team is usually competing with big cities across the country.

With the American Cup, he says, the city clinched it by pursing a relationship with USA Gymnastics. The president, Ron Gallimore, toured Greensboro before awarding the event to the city.

"We brought him in, actually, during the figure skating championships when we hosted those last year in Greensboro to show Ron how our facility looks like fully dressed and occupied and being utilized," Fourrier said. "Every time we add an event to our event resume gives us the credibility within that industry, like, wow, Greensboro must be a happening place."

The convention and visitor's bureau is already looking at the next big thing to bring to town.

Each year, Fourrier says, the tourism industry brings about a billion dollars to the city; $26 million of that is in taxes.

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