Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, has announced the Waupaca Boatride Volleyball Tournament as one of its 2018 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism.
“It is a great honor and speaks to the hard work and dedication the organizers invest to make this an award-winning tournament,” Amy Albright, executive director of the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau, said. “We are very lucky to have this tournament in our community.”
The Waupaca Boatride Volleyball Tournament is one of only five sporting events in the country to be recognized for the award in the Innovations in Sports Tourism category.
In 2018, the total economic impact of the tournament was $1.1 million. It accounted for 125 hotel rooms and 500 campsites per night and spending amounted to an average of $156 per person, per day.
“Sports tourism is growing substantially across the country,” Albright said. “Having an event of this caliber recognized as a champion of economic impact is a huge win for sports tourism in Oshkosh.”
The Waupaca Boatride Volleyball Tournament, also known as the U.S. Open of Grass Volleyball, is a grass-surface tournament, held each July at Brighton Acres. The event, which moved to Oshkosh in 2010, has grown 17 percent year over year. In 2018, a record of more than 1,600 teams participated.
“People come once, they fall in love, and then they come back year after year,” Albright said. “It has given the event a unique, family reunion-like atmosphere.”
Appealing to volleyball players across the country, the tournament features juniors’, men’s, women’s and co-ed divisions. Junior skill clinics, as well as Friday and Saturday night entertainment have been added over the years, increasing the appeal of the event.
The 2019 tournament is July 12-14 at Brighton Acres with registration opening in February. It is open to the public and spectators are encouraged to attend.