March Madness in Trussville means big economic impact
From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE –Collegiate conference basketball tournaments are taking place around the country as teams make a case for an invitation for the big dance. But in Trussville, March Madness is in full swing and it’s bringing big money to the city.
Friday night kicked off the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association State Basketball Tournament and the event has brought 158 teams and their fans to the city. The teams range in age from 8-years-old to 18-years-old and include both boys and girls.
Local hotels reported full occupancy and local restaurants will be tasked with feeding the visitors. The city will reap the benefit of sales and lodging taxes.
Anita Estelle, Director of Sales , Courtyard Marriot in Trussville reported that her property was sold out for the tournament.
“These events not only help us stay engaged in the community but have a tremendous impact on Trussville hotels and area restuarants,” Estelle said. “I know for us, the financial impact for just this weekend is in the $15-20,000 range, so I would imagine for Trussville as a whole the impact would be over $50,000 or more.”
The Holiday Inn Express was also sold out according to sales manager Nicole Dobbins.
“Birmingham is a great city and Trussville is an equally great part of the whole Birmingham experience,” Dobbins said. “Not many people know about Trussville and this is a great opportunity to show our city and encourage them to come back when visiting Birmingham.”
The city council raised the lodging tax from 3 percent to 6 percent in 2017, bringing it more in line with surrounding cities. At that time, leaders said a portion of the revenue would be used to help the Trussville Park and Recreation Department place winning bids to hosts the events.
About six months later Drew Peterson, superintendent of the Parks and Recreation Department, told the council the city had landed the basketball tournament.
Peterson said 139 all-star teams from across the state participated in the tournament held last year in Gadsden.
“This will be the biggest state tournament we’ve ever had,” Peterson said in July.
Councilman Zach Steele, council liaison to the Park and Recreation Department, said the group worked hard to bring the event to Trussville.
“With over 150 teams competing in this year’s state tournament, we are using every gym in town, plus Clay Chalkville High School and Middle School,” Steele said. “Hats off to Trussville Parks and Recreation Department. They’ve worked very hard to organize an amazing event.”
The tournament continues through Sunday. You can check out the games and brackets here.