Amateur sports help boom Rochester business - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Amateur sports help boom Rochester business

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- One of the benefits of the holidays is time-off from work... and with that free time, many people like to travel.

If you're noticing extra faces around town - that's because many are spending their free time joining-in the action of the holiday tournaments hosted here in Rochester this week.

Players and families from across the nation are in Rochester to participate in hockey, basketball, and wrestling amateur tournaments.

Throughout the year more than 50-thousand people come to Rochester for amateur sports. Tuesday the girls and boys basketball kicked off the holiday tournaments.

Many of the Hockey and basketball teams are regional and come to Rochester just for the day-to watch or compete, have lunch, and then leave, but the wrestling teams come from all over the United States.

The exact number of visitors is hard to measure, but there was quite a large crowd of people at Mayo Civic Center Tuesday afternoon to watch the basketball games.

Executive Director of Rochester Amateur Sports, Ed Hruska says they organize these tournaments for the kids to have something to do over break. Hruska states, "We have some great people that step up in the community, across every sport. They step up and put a lot of hours and time and effort to make this happen. The whole idea is to have fun, but yet there's a great competition too. When it's all said and done the kids are having a great time and the families are creating a memory that they'll have forever."

These tournaments are more than scoring and competition, The nearly 80 teams bring in great business for the town. Restaurants and hotels see a large influx of people.

Wrestling alone will be occupying around 1,000 hotel rooms.

The Wrestling portion of the tournaments, also known as "the clash", is bringing teams from Arizona, California, Florida and many other places around the nation. Currently the Best Western is making room for 9 teams.

Director of Sales at the Best Western in downtown Rochester, Kristine Ihrke says they have been busy getting everything ready for the athletes, "They're coming from places where they have never been to Minnesota before. They don't know where to go what they're doing. We're talking about high schools and if we can help them out any way possible it will be a little easier with the city. The fly-in teams, the nice thing is we have a shuttle. So once they get to here, I've got them taken care of."

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