Clarksville, Tenn. -- Local residents can expect to see an increase in out of town visitors for more of July as approximately 8,695 visitors from across the country arrive in Clarksville to compete in the AAU Boys’ 10U Basketball Division I and Division II National Championship from July 8-13, followed by the Girls' 6th Grade National Championship July 13-18. A total of 52 boys teams and 63 girls teams will be competing.
Several Clarksville-Montgomery County schools, local private schools and Austin Peay State University will lend their facilities to pool play and championship games throughout the week. The boys event kicks off on Friday, July 8 with opening ceremonies at Austin Peay’s Fortera Stadium at 7:00p.m. and will feature a parade of players, skydivers, torch run and speakers. Opening ceremonies are open to the public. Game play tips off on Saturday and culminates with championship bracket play on July 13. The girls opening ceremonies will also be held at Fortera Stadium on July 13.
Visitors to the community for the tournaments, including players, coaches, family members and spectators are expected to sleep, dine, shop and sightsee during their extended stay in the area. Local tools and resources are available to help visitors navigate the area and plan their stay, including the Visitors Center located at 180 Holiday Drive, the VisitClarksvilleTN.com website and the VisitClarksville app.
“AAU basketball continues to bring a great deal of positive exposure to our community. Each tournament is an opportunity to showcase our hospitality, amenities and southern charm on a national stage as we welcome visitors from all across the nation,” said Louisa Cooke, Chairman of Visit Clarksville.
Clarksville has won bids to serve as host city for four AAU national basketball tournaments and two sub-state tournaments through 2018. Total revenue for past and future tournaments is forecasted at upwards of $28 million, with just over $3.7 million of that coming from spending during the two events this July. For each tournament played in Clarksville-Montgomery County, millions of dollars are brought into the community through several different avenues. Money generated comes from travel funds spent on hotel accommodations, food, entertainment and shopping. An upswing in county tax revenue is historically seen during the months that the basketball tournaments are in the community.
“The support of our local hotels and restaurants, along, of course, with our many volunteers, is really the key to our continued success with the tournaments,” said Cooke. “We absolutely could not continue to offer this level of successful event to our guests year after year without that broad-base of support.”
Volunteers are still needed to help with registration, opening ceremonies, ticket taking at all venues, etc. If interested, please contact Theresa Harrington, Executive Director of Visit Clarksville at 931-647-2331 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clarksville-Montgomery County promotes itself to AAU site selection committees on several main points including major interstate access, proximity to the Nashville Airport, multiple well-equipped venues within a short driving distance, committed community members and businesses, highlighted by dedicated media coverage. In order to qualify for the selection process, each city must present the elements that make their community competitive, as well as pay a nominal bid fee. Bid fees for these tournaments were funded through a grant from the Aspire Clarksville Foundation, the privately funded community marketing and economic development initiative.
“The Aspire Foundation was designed to help the community develop in high impact areas across multiple sectors, including tourism,” said Cal Wray, Executive Director of the Aspire Clarksville Foundation. “Through generous funding by our investors, our team has the opportunity to competitively recruit events such as AAU Championships, which by 2018 will generate over $24 million in revenue for the community since we started hosting tournaments in 1999.”
All games are open to the public and free of charge for Clarksville-Montgomery County residents and active duty Military with valid ID. All others may purchase tickets at the door. Daily Passes are $15 for adults and $10 for ages 6-14. Weekly Passes are $45 for adults and $35 for ages 6-14. Children five and under are free. Gametime each day begins at 10:00a.m., with the last games beginning at 6:45p.m.