Baton Rouge will host the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships and the 2025 Open Championships

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Mayor-President Kip Holden announced this week at a press conference that Baton Rouge has been selected to host the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships and the 2025 Open Championships at the Baton Rouge River Center.

The USBC Women's Championships is the world's largest annual participatory sporting event for women, attracting between 30,000-40,000 bowlers annually over a 90-120 day period. Last year, the Women's Championships had a $38 million direct spending impact in Syracuse, NY.

The Open Championships is the world's largest annual participatory sporting event, attracting between 12,000 and 17,000 5-player teams. In 2012, Baton Rouge hosted the event. In total, 58,704 USBC bowlers and 11,496 guests from all over the country visited Baton Rouge for this event, which began Feb. 11 and concluded July 10.

"Baton Rouge truly is committed to making the bowlers feel welcome, and we know they're looking forward to revisiting some of the places they've enjoyed during previous visits as well as seeing how the city has changed," said Brian Lewis, USBC Managing Director of Tournaments. "Our numbers indicate how much the bowlers enjoy Baton Rouge and the Louisiana culture, and the River Center will continue to be a great home for our championship events."

A previous study commissioned by Visit Baton Rouge and conducted by SCI Research estimated that the 151-day tournament had a $113.2-million economic impact on Baton Rouge and the surrounding area in 2012.

During the 2012 tournament, Mayor Holden, Visit Baton Rouge President and CEO Paul Arrigo, and Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation President and CEO Jerry Stovall began discussions with USBC officials about not only returning the Open Championships to Baton Rouge for a third time, but also bringing the Women's Championships here as well.

"The relationships we have built with the U.S. Bowling Congress have been critical to securing these championships, but the real credit goes to the people of Baton Rouge, who have welcomed bowlers from across the country to our city and made their stay here an enjoyable one," said Mayor Holden. "This is truly one of our greatest economic achievements, because it has solidly established Baton Rouge as a great place to visit among American cities."

Paul Arrigo said, "It is an honor for Baton Rouge to be selected by the United States Bowling Congress and I am very proud of the Baton Rouge delegation for their efforts to secure these two events again. It is unprecedented that a city would be selected multiple times and I think that is a true testament to our city and the partners we have constantly working to bring conventions, meetings and events to Baton Rouge for long-term growth. I want to thank Baton Rouge area residents for welcoming USBC in 2005 and 2012. We plan on using the next several years to expand on our success and deliver even more of an economic impact to the city of Baton Rouge."