SALEM (WSLS 10) – Salem is looking to host more sports championships.
The city is currently bidding on several championships recently pulled out of North Carolina because of the state’s controversial House Bill 2.
The tournaments include the NCAA’s Division III men’s and women’s soccer championships and the ACC’s baseball championship.
Business owners like Kathy and Larry Sultze, who own Fruitions, said they hope this city is granted one of the championships.
“There’s more excitement in the city, of course it’s going to bring in more customers so that helps the businesses,” said Kathy Sultze.
City leaders agree.
They’ve hosted nearly 80 NCAA championships since 1993 and one ACC championship in late 2003.
On average the city sees about a $2 million to $4 million boost in sales.
“It’s a thrilling thing to have events like that in our city,” explained Larry Sultze.
City of Salem employees said they are in the early stages, but if they are granted the opportunity to host the NCAA’s men and women soccer championship in December, the event would be held at Roanoke College’s Kerr Field.
The ACC baseball championship would be held at the Salem Red Sox stadium in May if the city wins that bid.
Salem tourism leaders said hosting either event could drive more people to the area.
“If we are fortunate enough to get either or both of these, it would be a great economic shot in the arm, because it’s new found business not anything that anyone planned for this year coming up, and it adds to our sports legacy,” Carey Harveycutter, Salem’s Tourism Director said.