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Buffalo Continues to Land Lucrative Amateur Sporting Events

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo continues to burnish its reputation as one of the nation's leading venues for amateur sporting events. Officials at the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to ink a number of sporting events that will draw thousands of people to Buffalo.

Buffalo is known as a big sports town because of the presence of the Bills and Sabres. But since the World University Games were held here 12 years ago, more and more amateur athletics organizations have come here to use the facilities that were built for the Games.

Indianapolis and Colorado Springs remain as national centers for amateur sports and are home to several major amateur governing committees. But the CVB's director of Convention Sales Michael Even says Buffalo is right behind.

"We've put together a successful sales team that's gone out to Indianapolis and Colorado Springs for trade shows, developing relationships with these national governing bodies," Even said. "We've identified events that fit in the facilities we have. And our track record has been excellent."

A synchronized swimming competition is taking place this week at the Flickinger Center at ECC's downtown campus. Even says the event is attracting 1,200 competitors, creating an economic impact of $1 million.

"Those people will stay in hotels. They'll eat in our restaurants. They'll rent a car. They'll go to the movies. They'll shop at our shopping centers," Even said. "They'll spend money."

The World University Games were heavily criticized for their expense. But Even argues the investment in such facilities as UB Stadium and the downtown Flickinger Center has reaped tremendous dividends over time.