Economics of local MAYB tournament are signficant

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The impact of Mid America Youth Basketball tournaments is felt not

only by the young athletes who participate in them, but by the

communities that host them.



Greg Raleigh, MAYB director, estimates the Newton tournament this

weekend will pump at least $2.5 million into Newton and central
Kansas

as teams from the Midwest and beyond travel here to participate.



He bases his estimate on a formula used in a 1998 Greater Wichita
Area

Sports Commission.



And make no mistake, Hillsboro will get its share of that pie.



?I?d say this event is second only to the Arts & Crafts Fair in
regard

to the people it brings to town and the revenue it generates for
us,?

says Carol Wiebe, executive secretary of the Hillsboro Development

Corporation.



?And it?s another tremendous opportunity to showcase our town and

demonstrate our great hospitality,? she added. ?We?re so fortunate
to

be a part of it.?



Tracy Isaac, administration secretary for the Convention and
Visitors

Bureau, ?warned? local restaurants, motels and other vendors of
the

upcoming tournament several weeks in advance so they could prepare
for

the masses that will come.



Jennifer Heath, front desk clerk for Country Haven Inn, said their

motel was booked for this weekend even before it opened last
month.



Dan D?Albini, owner of McDonald?s in Hillsboro, said the economic

impact of past MAYB weekends has been ?very good.?



?It?s always been a good weekend for us,? he said. ?I think it?s
great

that our community can be a part of it.?



Just like MAYB in general, the Hillsboro portion of the tournament

continues to grow. Last year, 76 teams came to town. This year,
the

number will be close to 100, according to Raleigh.



With players, coaches, parents and fans, the number of people
coming

to town should easily top 2,000.



After last year?s tournament, Thomas Savant, a consultant with
Savant

Services, Inc., in McPherson, estimated it would not be
unreasonable

that visitors would spend around $100 per player over the weekend.



With money turning over in a community two to three times through

wages and subsequent purchases, Hillsboro could easily experience
an

economic impact of $200,000 to $300,000 dollars as a result of
MAYB.



Brad Wiens, Hillsboro, has been hired as the site manager. He in
turn

has recruited four assistants. They will oversee the games that
will

be played simultaneously on the four floors at Hillsboro High
School

and the two floors Tabor College offers.



?MAYB makes the most efficient use of floor space than anyone I?ve

seen,? Wiens said.



In addition to restaurants and convenience stores, visitors will
be

served by non-profit groups for on-site refreshments.



Wiens said Hillsboro has hosted young players who went on to make
a

name for themselves elsewhere, including Josh Reid, who played at

Kansas State.



?It?s a lot of fun to watch them play,? he said.



Admission will be charged to those who want to watch the action.
The

best buy, said Wiens, is a weekend pa

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