CONTACT: Andy Kanengiser
March 6, 2014
Hundreds of North America’s best collegiate table tennis players will travel to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, host of the NCTTA’s 2015 championship games.
Leaders of the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association reached the decision in early March after reviewing four bids from cities seeking to welcome three days of thrilling competition. The event will bring about 350 table tennis players, coaches, fans, officials and others as the Olympic sport is played on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
NCTTA officials studied detailed proposals that examined facilities, seating, lighting, volunteer support, food services, space for visitors, hotels, transportation, banquet facilities and much more. The championship games will be played in April 2015 at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire’s spacious McPhee Physical Education Center.
“In the end, Eau Claire, Wisconsin submitted an excellent plan. The players, coaches and other supporters of our growing collegiate sport are excited about returning to the Midwest for the championship games,’’ said NCTTA President Willy Leparulo. “We thank the three other cities for submitting bids.’’
Ben Morgan, a staff member with the Eau Claire Convention and Visitors Bureau, was pumped about bringing the tournament to his hometown.
“We were very excited to get the news. We had a good feeling about it,’’ Morgan said by phone Wednesday March 5. “This will be great for the Eau Claire area.’’
Located in the Chippewa Valley, Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s 9th largest city with about 67,000 residents, is located about a four-hour drive from Milwaukee.
The NCTTA host city is home to sports like the Eau Claire Express baseball team that plays in Carson Park. Visitors to the river city have much to see including the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire. They can go boating at Lake Hallie and find plenty of opportunities to pedal a bike or go horseback riding in the area.
In a dairy state where fans love the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and cheer for MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers, Wisconsin is fast becoming a favorite for table tennis people.
A few years ago, the NCTTA championships were held near Milwaukee. The NCTTA typically moves the games to different regions of the country. The 2012 championship games were played in Plano, Texas near Dallas. The 2013 championships were held in Rockford, Illinois, about 60 miles from Chicago. The 2014 NCTTA championships will be played in Monroeville, Pa. near Pittsburgh.
Home of the world famous Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota hosted the NCTTA’s 2009 championship games. Rochester is located closer to Eau Claire than is Milwaukee.
Morgan said he’s got friends in Rochester, Minnesota and plans to get some ideas from them before Eau Clare gets its turn in 2015.
Strong support from volunteers is always a big plus for any city hosting a major event. Morgan said that will be the case for Eau Clare for the collegiate table tennis tournament in 2015. He expects solid support from volunteers with the University of Wisconsin Eau Clare table tennis club.
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org
About Visit Eau Claire
Visit Eau Claire exists to effectively market the Eau Claire Area as a destination for conventions, sporting events, group tour and leisure markets; to promote regional economic growth and to enhance and maintain the area's overall identity and image. http://www.visiteauclaire.com/