500 high school wrestlers bring their moves and money to Albany for the seventh year in a row. As YNN’s Erin Vannella reports, capital region business owners are winning too.
“We're estimating somewhere in the neighborhood of one million to 1.2 million in economic impact. We have over 1,000 hotel rooms booked per night,” said Robert Zayas, NYSPHAA Executive Director.
Pinning dollar signs to the capital region, high school wrestlers bring their best moves to the Times Union Center.
“It's very receptive and it's very accommodating for this state tournament. And, people love this central location. And, people seem to draw,” said Zayas.
It's Albany's seventh year hosting the New York State Wrestling Championships. National and local businesses are slicing up the profits
“We’ve consistently line out the door every Friday anyway. It's kind of chaotic as it is. So, this just adds a little bit more of the chaos,” said Sal Sapienza, son of Pizzeria Sapienza owner.
Wrestling fans spend between one and two million dollars while they're here, generating 145 million in tax revenue.
“But, are you happy to have them? Absolutely, of course, anytime that downtown Albany gets extra people down here, it's a great thing,” said Sapienza.
Albany’s Visitor Bureau tracked $240,000 spent on accommodations during the weekend, filling six hotels with wrestling teams alone.
Michelle Vennard, CEO Albany Visitor's Bureau said, “Obviously, there are some folks who say ‘Oh, cold weather destination, nothing happens in the winter time.’ Well it does.”
It's friendly competition among 15,000 people, not just the athletes on the mats
“It’s just been a great experience. And, everybody comes out and really enjoys the event,” said Zayas.