By Dave Slusarick
Did you know that for the past four years, Fayette County has played host to national athletic championships? It will be an exciting week when the United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s (USCAA) National Basketball Championships return to Penn State Fayette, the Eberly Campus, from February 26 to March 2. This major athletic event will feature four tournaments in men’s and women’s basketball, and, as you can imagine, we’ll have thousands of visitors to our little corner of Southwestern Pennsylvania: coaches, student-athletes, families, and fans!
The USCAA, whose membership includes nearly a hundred institutions across the country, is working with organizations such as the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, and the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau to make our guests’ time in Fayette County really special. Planning is underway for a series of community events that will show off the best of our area, including local landmarks and the growing business community. Athletes will stay at Fayette County’s own five-star luxury destination resort, Nemacolin Woodlands, which is supporting the tournament as its Presenting Sponsor.
Overall, these championships will bring favorable attention, a burst of youthful energy and enthusiasm, and a revenue boost to Fayette County. Officials estimate that economic impact could amount to $400,000.
Fayette TV will be a part of the action, too! Tune us in on Atlantic Broadband Channel 77 or check out our online stream at FayetteTV.org in the weeks leading up to the tournament, and you’ll get a crash course in what the USCAA is, what to expect at the Championships, and how you can be involved. Mark your calendars for February 26 to March 2, and watch this column for more details on airtimes for USCAA-related programming. Let’s get ready to show our visitors, many of whom will be traveling to our area for the first time, some Fayette County hospitality!
Dave Slusarick is creative director for Coordinated 360, subcontracted operator of Fayette TV. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-893-8516.