GREENSBORO, NC – The Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T SU) has been selected as the site for the 2013 USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships. As many as 9,500 athletes from across the United States will gather in Greensboro to compete in one of the country’s largest youth track and field competitions.
The event will be held July 19 – 29, 2013 for seven days with more than 15,000 people expected to attend. “This is one of the best and largest track and field events any city could hope to host. We estimate the economic impact to be almost $21.6 million – reemphasizing the moniker “Tournament Town”,” explains Henri Fourrier, President and CEO of the Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. A team of Convention & Visitors Bureau and Greensboro Sports Commission personnel, along with North Carolina A&T Head Track Coach Tony Veney and North Carolina USATF State Association members, presented a customized bid to the selection committee at the USATF annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. “We were delighted and very excited that Greensboro was selected for the Junior Olympics event, beating out Jacksonville, Florida and Sacremento, California – this is the top prize for any city,” continued Fourrier. Greensboro has hosted several track and field events since the track at NC A&T State University opened in 2003, and previously hosted the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in 2009.
Mr. Lionel Leach, chair of the National Youth Committee, commented that, “this is one of the best facilities on the East Coast and we look forward to holding the Junior Olympics in Greensboro.” The location of the track on the NC A&T SU campus is appealing to event coordinators due to the large number of hotels and restaurants within a 10 mile radius. More than 80% of the attendees will be traveling more than 250 miles and are expected to stay in Greensboro hotels for a minimum of four nights. Almost 15,000 hotel room nights will be booked for the event.
“When you combine a top flight facility like the Irwin Belk Track & Field Complex at A&T with Greensboro’s reputation for exceptional hospitality, it puts us on the leaderboard,” added Kim Strable, President of the Greensboro Sports Commission. “We are grateful for the support of our state association and the many volunteers who have contributed to our past successes and positioned us to secure the 2013 championships.”
The Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Greensboro Sports Commission work together to present Greensboro as a major destination for sporting events, particularly youth-oriented ones. The economic impact of visitor spending in Guilford County in 2010 was over $1 billion with 13,000 people employed in the hospitality industry.