Clarksville-Montgomery County is poised to welcome nearly 3,000 guests next week for two divisions of the Amateur Athletic Union’s Boy’s 10-and-Under National Basketball Championships
Since 1999, the city has hosted dozens of regional and national AAU basketball events. This year, 53 teams from 16 states including Utah, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Michigan, Maryland, Louisiana, Indiana and most states bordering Tennessee, will make their way to Clarksville for championship play.
“For many families, traveling to this tournament is their summer vacation,” says Jerry Albert, incoming Visit Clarksville board of directors chairman who has also served as tournament director for many of Clarksville’s AAU events. “In addition to the scheduled tournament days, many families will come a couple of days early, or stay extra days afterward, and explore the city. Over the years, we’ve also seen some who are here for the tournament plan another visit later when they can experience all that we have to offer here in Clarksville-Montgomery County – that’s really what it’s all about.”
Five local gymnasiums and Austin Peay State University will lend their facilities to pool play and championship games. Registration will be held Friday, July 7 at the APSU Dunn Center, offering inflatables and local food trucks to players and their families. Opening ceremonies will follow at 7:00p.m. at Austin Peay’s Fortera Stadium featuring a parade of athletes, skydivers, torch run and guest speaker APSU Athletic Director Ryan Ivey. Opening ceremonies are open to the public. Game play tips off on Saturday and culminates with championship bracket play on July 12.
For each tournament played in Clarksville-Montgomery County, millions of dollars are brought into the community through several different avenues. Tournament visitors, including players, coaches, family members and spectators spend funds on hotel accommodations, food, entertainment and shopping. Projected visitor spending of nearly $2.5 million during the event supports a wide range of local businesses, but also directly contributes to the city, county and state tax base, as well as the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.
Clarksville has won bids to serve as host city for two AAU national basketball tournaments and two sub-state tournaments through 2018. Total revenue for past and future tournaments is forecast at upwards of $28 million. An upswing in county tax revenue is historically seen during the months that the basketball tournaments are in the community.
“The support of our local hotels and restaurants, along, of course, with our many volunteers, is really the key to our continued success with the tournaments,” said Allbert. “We absolutely could not continue to offer this level of success to our guests year after year without that broad base of support.”
Volunteers are still needed to help with registration, opening ceremonies, ticket taking at all venues, etc. If interested, please contact Theresa Harrington, Executive Director of Visit Clarksville at 931-647-2331 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clarksville-Montgomery County promotes itself to AAU site selection committees on several main points including major interstate access, proximity to the Nashville Airport, multiple well-equipped venues within a short driving distance, committed community members and businesses, highlighted by dedicated media coverage. To qualify for the selection process, each city must present the elements that make their community competitive, as well as pay a bid fee. Bid fees for these tournaments were funded through a grant from the Aspire Clarksville Foundation, the privately funded community marketing and economic development initiative.
“The Aspire Foundation was designed to help the community develop in high impact areas across multiple sectors, including tourism,” said Cal Wray, Executive Director of the Aspire Clarksville Foundation. “Through generous funding by our investors, Clarksville has the opportunity to competitively recruit events such as AAU Championships and other sports events.”
All games are open to the public and free of charge for Clarksville-Montgomery County residents and active duty Military with valid ID. All others may purchase tickets at the door. Daily Passes are $15 for adults and $10 for ages 6-14. Weekly Passes are $45 for adults and $35 for ages 6-14. Children five and under are free. Game time each day begins at 9:30a.m., with the last games ending at 6:15p.m.
For a complete schedule of events, brackets and other tournament information go to VisitClarksvilleTN.com/AAU.