By Chad D. Lerch | M&C


GRAND RAPIDS — West Michigan is capturing its share of the $6 billion national youth and amateur sports tourism bounty, with thousands of gifted athletes converging on the region for competitions.


ESPN or Fox Sports might not be following their every move, but behind every youth or amateur athlete is a traveling posse with cash to spend — pumping millions into local hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions every time they come to town.


By Garret Ellison | The Grand Rapids Press


ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP — An Olympic-style sporting festival comprised of athletes who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries will take place in West Michigan next summer after a local group saved the event from cancellation.


The West Michigan Sports Commission scheduled a press conference Tuesday morning to formally announce its organization of the Transplant Games of America, a national version of the world tournament designed to promote organ donation.