In 2019, Visit Wichita will host a variety of exciting sporting events in the Air Capital of the World. From bowling to basketball, the variety and magnitude of these sporting events are helping to make Wichita a premier sports destination in the Midwest. Here’s a look at four major events that will be hosted in Wichita in 2019, which are estimated to generate millions of dollars in local economic impact:
NIRSA Championship Series
Wichita will be the host city for the NIRSA National Basketball Championships for the next three years, beginning in 2019. The series gives college recreational sports participants an opportunity to compete and connect with peers from other schools, and could bring more than 1,000 athletes from across the country to Wichita.
Wichita State University (WSU) and Visit Wichita will host the championships from 2019–2021. The event in 2019 will take place on April 12-14 at Wichita Hoops.
“Wichita State University is excited to host the 2019, 2020 and 2021 NIRSA National Basketball Championships,” said Austin Sanderson, competitive sports coordinator at WSU and tournament director for Wichita’s NIRSA series. “We look forward to welcoming players, programming staff, officials, volunteers, and fans to Wichita – and providing them with a great overall experience. Considering Wichita’s central location, we have an opportunity to host some of the larger tournaments over the next few years.”
The championships are estimated to generate more than $1.5 million in local economic impact over the three years hosted in Wichita. “Wichita is ecstatic to be selected as the host for the NIRSA National Basketball Championships,” says Brian Hargrove, Executive Director of Sports Development at Visit Wichita. “We are thrilled to welcome thousands of visitors to the city.”
While WSU is the host university, teams will be competing at Wichita Hoops. “Wichita Hoops is a 113,000 sq. ft. facility that includes 12 basketball courts, a viewing mezzanine and two concession stands. This facility was built with the primary purpose to host tournaments such as the NIRSA Championship Series National Basketball Championships,” said Sanderson. “Wichita Hoops is sure to impress.”
US Bowling Congress Women’s Championships
Northrock Lanes will be the host venue when the 100th anniversary of the United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships take place April 20 to June 29 in Wichita.
“To bring an event with such a rich history to Wichita is a tremendous opportunity, and Northrock Lanes in east Wichita will be a great venue,” said Hargrove. “Wichita has so much to offer bowlers during their time in our city, and we’re looking forward to helping to create an exciting and memorable experience.”
The USBC Women's Championships is the world's largest annual participatory sporting event for women. The competition is expected to bring more than 16,000 bowlers to Wichita, along with their friends and family, providing a major economic boost to the host community. The championship is expected to generate approximately $7 million in local economic impact.
The Basketball Tournament
In its sixth year, The Basketball Tournament (TBT) will bring its summer premier basketball event to Wichita as one of eight regional sites. This $2 million, winner-take-all tournament happens July 25-28, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. As part of the tournament, The AfterShocks – a team made up of former Wichita State University men’s basketball players - will be playing in Wichita.
“From the moment we first started talking to TBT, we knew what a great event this would be for the city. The love of basketball and Wichita State promises to make this another very successful event for Wichita,” said Hargrove. “Our partnership with Wichita State and the AfterShocks has been tremendous and we are so excited to show off our city to the other teams and fans. Also, being able to showcase Wichita on National Television will once again show people what a great sports city we live in.”
Wichita State will be a tournament host for the first time, welcoming eight of the 64 tournament teams filled with professional basketball players, college alumni teams, international basketball stars, ex-NBA players, future NBA players and more competing in a single-elimination 5-on5 tournament with a $2 million prize. The ESPN family of networks will telecast selected TBT games live, generating positive local economic impact and national television exposure.
Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championships
Wichita is one of the regional qualifier host cities for the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championships. The qualifying event will feature top teams from throughout the region competing for postseason football honors and will take place Nov. 22-24 at multiple outdoor facilities in Wichita.
“We are excited to bring this event to Wichita later this year,” said Karen King, director of tournaments for LGS Football & Basketball Division. “Wichita’s love of sports and top-notch facilities make it a wonderful city for teams to compete in.”
The competition will attract hundreds of athletes to Wichita and is estimated to generate more than $500,000 in local economic impact. “Wichita is proud to be a host city to teams who will go on to compete in the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championships,” said Hargrove. “This event, along with many others we will host in this year alone, solidifies Wichita is a tremendous sports city capable of hosting sporting events of all magnitudes.”
A few other big sporting events coming to Wichita include:
- UFC Fight Night at INTRUST Bank Arena
- Chisholm Trail Marathon in downtown Wichita
- Prairie Fire Marathon & Half Marathon in downtown Wichita
If you have questions about sports in Wichita or are looking for the perfect place to host your tournament or event, please reach out to our Sports Development Department.
About Visit Wichita
Visit Wichita markets the greater Wichita area as a major convention and tourism destination, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by president and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2017 travel and tourism contributed more than $1.1 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area.