5000 Bowlers Coming to Gainesville

Local Bowling Alleys Host State Championships for the First Time April 11 – June 28

The 2015 Florida State Bowling Association Open Championship Tournament is coming to Gainesville on April 11-June 28, 2015. This 11 weekend tournament is open to all bowlers affiliated with a USBC sanctioned league and will be held at two Gainesville bowling centers—Splitz at Funworks and Alley Gatorz Bowling Center.

Susan Sheridan,. Director of the Greater Gainesville Bowling Association (GGBA), is excited for Gainesville to be a first time host of this prestigious event. “We are happy to host the state tournament because it allows our association to add larger tournaments to our calendar which will bring in more economic impact to our community”, Sheridan states. The economic impact for the Gainesville community is expected to be great. Last year’s tournament, hosted in Orlando, FL, recorded 5,561 room nights. With the participants staying in Gainesville for two days each of the 11 weekends, the impact will be felt in the community’s shops, restaurants, and attractions as well.

“We are happy to host the state tournament because it allows our association to add larger tournaments to our calendar which will bring in more economic impact to our community”

Economic impact is not the only positive result from hosting the state tournament. The state and local bowling associations donate a portion of the entry fees to local youth bowling associations for college scholarships. With the funding the Greater Gainesville Bowling Association will receive from hosting, they will continue to grant college scholarships to students. The tournament also allows the local bowling association to provide more benefits to its members such as coaching and enhanced pro shops. Additionally, the bowling centers can afford to make improvements in preparation for hosting the bowlers. Splitz is currently testing food items to enhance their menu; Alley Gatorz is updating its scoring system and recently concluded renovations on the building’s roof.

“One of the reasons we placed the bid to host this event with the GGBA is that bowlers are social and after they finish their games at the bowling center they like to go out into the community and explore the different attractions, restaurants and bars”

“The entire bowling community looks forward to receiving their state registrations. It is more popular than going to nationals for many bowlers due to travel costs,” Sheridan said. As many as 5,000 bowlers will compete throughout the 12 weekends in two divisions—scratch and handicap. The scratch division is known to have many professional bowlers compete in prior years. Bowlers are able to compete in individual, doubles and team categories. Winners in each division receive cash prizes. The Greater Gainesville Bowling Association is proud to boast past state champions themselves. They are expecting 900 teams consisting of 5 bowlers each to participate. With each bowler typically bowling a minimum of 9 games, over 40,500 games will be bowled during the tournament!

There are many ways for the community to get involved in this event. “One of the reasons we placed the bid to host this event with the GGBA is that bowlers are social and after they finish their games at the bowling center they like to go out into the community and explore the different attractions, restaurants and bars” said GSC’s Executive Director, Joleen Cacciatore. “We are working with local businesses and are encouraging them to get involved by providing discounts and coupons to restaurants, shops and attractions for the bowlers and their families.” There will be a welcome table at each of the bowling centers where businesses can provide coupons, discounts and information for the participants. This event will be bringing in 300-500 new customers each of the 12 different weekends.  For more information on how you or your business can get involved please call the Gainesville Sports Commission at 352.338.9300, or email mcrimmins@gainesvillesportscommission.com

To ensure a successful event, volunteers are needed at each bowling center each weekend throughout the tournament. The tournament cannot run efficiently without support staff aiding bowlers with scoring changes and lane assistance, check-in, and updating scoring brackets. Gainesville is not eligible to host the tournament again until 2019 and it could be as long as 2026 before the tournament comes back to Alachua County. For more information on how you can volunteer, please call the Gainesville Sports Commission at 352.338.9300 or email volunteering: ggbatourney@gmail.com

2015 Tournament Dates:

April 11-12

April 18-19

April 25-26

May 9-10

May 16-17

May 23-24

May 30-31

June 6-7

June 13-14

June 20-21

June 27-28

 

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