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IOWA GIRLS’ STATE HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT CELEBRATES 25TH YEAR IN CEDAR RAPIDS WITH 5-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION

IOWA GIRLS’ STATE HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT CELEBRATES 25TH YEAR IN CEDAR RAPIDS WITH 5-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION

Tournament Will Continue to Call U.S. Cellular Center Arena Home Through 2021

November 2015 will mark the 25th year that the Iowa Girls’ State High School Volleyball Tournament will return to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The U.S. Cellular Center, the Doubletree by Hilton Convention Complex and the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) are proud to celebrate that coming anniversary with the announcement that the venue will continue to host the tournament through 2021. With an economic impact of around $1.7 million in 2014, the tournament has generated more than $38 million dollars in revenue for many of the city’s restaurants, hotels and local businesses since it first came to Cedar Rapids in 1991.

Mike Dick, Executive Director of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union stated, “The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union is pleased to announce the contract extension for our State Volleyball Tournament to continue to be held in Cedar Rapids.  The U. S. Cellular Center provides a fantastic venue for our schools, players, and fans.  It has been a remarkable team effort for many years and we look forward to continuing that into the future.”

The Iowa Girls’ State High School Volleyball Tournament traditionally takes place in the 2nd week of November, bringing in over 30 teams from across the state of Iowa for 4 days of competition. In addition to the nearly 28,000 spectators that the tournament attracts, the teams themselves contribute an average of 800 room nights for area hotels. Adding in food, gas, entertainment, and other purchases made during the week, the tournament continues to be responsible for a huge boost to the Cedar Rapids economy each year.

“The Girls’ State Volleyball Tournament is one our CVB and local businesses look forward to each year. The economic impact of this event is felt throughout the community. We are pleased to continue welcoming thousands of volleyball athletes and fans from across the state,” said Mary Lee Malmberg, sports tourism director of the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The U.S. Cellular Center began hosting the Iowa Girls’ State High School Volleyball Tournament in 1991 until 2010 when the arena was set to undergo massive post-flood renovations and improvements. In 2011, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union faced the difficult decision to keep the tournament in Cedar Rapids or move it to of the many other cities that were eagerly vying to host them. Ultimately, the Union made the choice to keep the tournament in Cedar Rapids by relocating to the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena while the U.S. Cellular Center underwent massive reconstruction and upgrades. While it was just a 2-mile move, it took the Athletic Union’s confidence in the ability of the VenuWorks’ staff and the commitment of the CVB, the Doubletree by Hilton and the City of Cedar Rapids to ensure that the event would be successful in this unique venue setting.  The decision to remain in Cedar Rapids resulted in a massive increase to the local economy during its time of need.

“The design of the U.S. Cellular Center provides the athletes the perfect setting to make their trip to State a memorable experience,” stated Sharon Cummins, VenuWorks of Cedar Rapids Executive Director.  The fans can be close to the action and create an excitement that energizes the entire venue.  We have developed a great working relationship with the Union throughout all the years the tournament has been hosted in Cedar Rapids and we truly value their continued commitment to Cedar Rapids.

Matt Felling Complex General Manager commented, “We are truly excited about the continuation of this fabulous event in Cedar Rapids. This long lasting tournament has become a tradition and the entire community is excited to see it stay in Cedar Rapids. We are very proud of what the Doubletree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex and the U.S. Cellular Center has to offer the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. The tournament has not only been successful in making an economic impact it has created an atmosphere of fun, sportsmanship and camaraderie for all participating and attending the tournament.”

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