Mayor Al McDonald says with North Bay the site of the OFSAA Girls’ Basketball Championship, there are some big winners of the hardcourt.
The 18-team tournament has 325 players taking part.
That’s 300-plus girls in North Bay hotel rooms.
McDonald says add coaches, support staff and parents who are taking in the championship series and that means quite a few bookings to say nothing about restaurant meals.
McDonald says this is what sports tourism is all about; using various sports to bring visitors to the city.
The added bonus is the timing of the championship.
McDonald says it’s mostly taking place during the week when hotels are nowhere near full occupancy.
“If this was on the weekend, where there’s 85 percent to 90 percent occupancy, it makes it tougher to bring in more events (like this),” said the Mayor.
McDonald says holding OFSAA during the week has made it so much easier to accommodate all participants and visitors.
With hundreds of guests descending on the city over the next several days, McDonald says there is definitely an economic benefit.
Once City Hall staff determine the number of people the basketball championship attracted and how long they stayed, it’s possible to calculate how much economic activity was generated for North Bay using a proven and accepted formula.
Staff will have those results about two weeks following the championship.
Meanwhile, the economic impact aside, McDonald also says OFSAA is a chance for the city to showcase itself.
He says the tournament girls may consider coming back as students of Nipissing University or Canadore College once they graduate from high school.