USA TABLE TENNIS - U.S. OPEN WILL RETURN TO GRAND RAPIDS IN 2012 / 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Eric Engelbarts – West Michigan Sports Commission – (616) 233-3563 – eengelbarts@westmisports.com

 

USA TABLE TENNIS - U.S. OPEN WILL RETURN TO GRAND RAPIDS IN 2012 / 2014

2010 USA Table Tennis - U.S. Open contributed an estimated $600,000+ in direct spending

impact to the West Michigan area

 

Grand Rapids, Mich., March 10, 2011 – USA Table Tennis officials announced that the US Open will return to Grand Rapids, MI in 2012 as well as 2014. North America’s largest table tennis tournament will take place at DeVos Place on July 3-8, 2012 and attract both domestic and international athletes.

 

Michael D. Cavanaugh, CEO of USA Table Tennis stated, “The Board of Directors recently moved to accept staging our 2012 and 2014 U.S. Open in Grand Rapids, MI. This is a direct result of the wonderful experience we enjoyed in staging our 2010 U.S. Open in Grand Rapids. The local organizing committee, led by a USA Table Tennis favorite son, Dell Sweeris, enjoyed extraordinary support from the professionals at DeVos Place, the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Experience Grand Rapids CVB and the West Michigan Sports Commission.”

 

“We felt we were welcomed guests and made to feel a part of the community and family. It is this exact combination of known local organizing committee members who are partners with event professionals that makes our return visit so attractive to USA Table Tennis athletes, coaches, officials and staff” Cavanaugh stated.

 

Hosted by the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC), the 2010 US Open had 702 registered athletes that was an increase in attendance from the previous year in Las Vegas, NV. The WMSC calculates that the 2010 event brought an estimated $600,000+ in direct spending to the West Michigan area.

 

Mike Guswiler, Executive Director of the West Michigan Sports Commission stated, “On behalf of the West Michigan Sports Commission, our partners, and the local organizing committee; we are very pleased that USATT showed confidence in Grand Rapids and West Michigan to host both 2012 and 2014 based on our success of the 2010 U.S. Open.”

 

“The local media, community, and ‘ping-pong’ enthusiasts of all ages came out in abundance to witness highly competitive table tennis and we hope to grow on that into the 2012 and 2014 events. The over 700 athletes and their families that traveled here in 2010, had nothing but positive remarks for the beauty and hospitality of our community. We look forward to welcoming them back” Guswiler stated.

 

The local organizing committee was led by the WMSC and USA Table Tennis Foundation president and Hall of Fame inductee - Dell Sweeris and wife, Connie. Other committee members include Experience Grand Rapids CVB, DeVos Place, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and the City of Grand Rapids.

 

Dell and Connie Sweeris expressed their excitement for the 2012/2014 U.S. Open. “It’s an honor to bring the U.S Open back to West Michigan. 2012 is an Olympic year; we plan to capitalize on that to make the U.S. Open even bigger and better than 2010. In efforts to make 2012 a larger event, we are planning to work with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to secure a date on their event calendar. If the 2012 U.S. Open becomes protected, it ensures no conflict of schedule with other major Table Tennis events. This was a problem in 2010, when our event was the same date as the Japan Open. We are also considering expanding the divisions, by adding a team division similar to the Olympics. The 2012 Open can serve as a training event for athletes to sharpen skills in preparation for the Olympics games.”

 

The US Open is the largest table tennis competition in North America and features hundreds of top rated domestic and international athletes. Participants compete in 60 event divisions on 90 tables. Since 1996, the US Open has been held in Anaheim, CA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Houston, TX; Las Vegas, NV, Grand Rapids, MI and will be held in Milwaukee, WI later this year.

 

For more information, please contact Eric Engelbarts, West Michigan Sports Commission, at 616-233-3563 or by email at eengelbarts@westmisports.com

 

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About USA Table Tennis:

USATT is the national governing body for table tennis in the United States. Created in 1933 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo. its staff serves the 9,000-plus members and nearly 300 clubs that are affiliated with USATT. It oversees a wide variety of membership services, the national teams, rules of the game and numerous online instructional and historical articles. USATT is governed and run by the nine-member board of directors, committees and professional staff. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the world governing body for table tennis, as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

 

About the West Michigan Sports Commission:

The mission of the West Michigan Sports Commission is to promote Michigan’s West Coast as the premier venue for hosting a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events, enhancing the economy and quality of life in the region.

Media Contacts

West Michigan Sports Commission:

Katy Tigchelaar

Kim Skeltis, Blue Blaze PR

Meijer State Games of Michigan:

Eric Engelbarts, II

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