MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are 13,000 extra teenagers in the metro this week. With their families and coaches, it’s more like 41,000 people total.
The teens are serving it up at the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
The ten-day event is projected to bring $50 million in revenue to the area.
Chad Morrow is in town from Texas to watch his daughter Madison play.
“It’s awesome, it’s a whole lot cooler than back home,” Morrow said.
Deric Rutherford, whose daughter Ragan also plays, is enjoying the break from the southern heat as well.
“It’s a great change from Houston without the humidity,” Rutherford said. “We enjoy being able to walk around without sweating in the summer.”
And all these people walking around is just what the tourism executives love to see — and the timing is perfect.
“There is not a lot of hotel activity generally over this Fourth of July,” said Brent Forester, senior vice president of destination sales for Meet Minneapolis.
But 57,000 hotel room nights are booked in 120 hotels this week, and they are not the only establishments brimming with teens.
“Girls, ladies 11 to 17 spend more money on food than any other volleyball group,” Forester said. “That’s my expert information I’m getting from the restaurants.”
After all, these young athletes have a lot of energy to burn.
There are 69 courts going at this national tournament. Ragan Rutherford’s team started Tuesday afternoon with a win, and it seems the city is also winning,
“We will come back some day, see Paisley Park,” Deric Rutherford said.
And that is why these tournaments are key: people who may of otherwise never chosen a Minneapolis trip turn into repeat visitors.
The tournament goes through July 4 and is open to the public.