The Iowa High School Football Playoffs are already underway in the UNI-Dome, with the semi-finals November 8, 9, and 10 and the finals November 15 and 16. This means great business for the Cedar Valley. The economic impact to the area from these games is huge!
The play-offs break down to eight days and 24 games. By last year’s estimates, 85,000 people visited resulting in 10% staying overnight. These 8,500 visitors spent an estimated $90.95 which multiplies out to $875,500 in spending for overnight guests. The 76,500 day visitors were estimated to have spent on average $35 per person which comes to $2,677,500. Add those two figures together and the total economic impact was $3,553,000! Wow! (These figures were arrived at by using spending averages from the Iowa Tourism Office.)
Our hotels are “teaming” with activity, our restaurants put on extra help during the games, and the shopping districts are full of players, their families and fans wandering around before their game time or after. Our volunteers actually stand in line to sign up to help host our hospitality table during the semi-finals and finals. The excitement around here just seems to build and build as we prepare to welcome these guests.
What this all boils down to is no small task for Andre Seoldo and his UNI-Dome staff, but they are up to the challenge. To say they do an outstanding job hosting this event isn’t enough because they go beyond that. Andre and his staff involve the community in embracing these high school athletes, their fans and families, and the coaching staffs. Working closely with our office, the word is sent out early to hotels and restaurants. The community is informed so they, too, can help roll out the welcome mat. This in addition to all of the last minute scheduling and extra UNI-Dome staff needed.
(Photo courtesy of Matthew Putney with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.)
Vicki S. Bailey
Cedar Falls Tourism Bureau Staff