PROACTIVE GRANT PROGRAM BRINGS SPORTS EVENTS TO WISCONSIN
From Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game to NCAA March Madness, Wisconsin has hosted its share of national sporting events. Among event organizers, Wisconsin is known for great crowd support, top-notch venues and warm, welcoming host cities. Recognizing the growth potential that sports marketing presents, Wisconsin is making an aggressive push to attract additional, high-caliber sporting events. The “Ready, Set, Go! Grant Program” is a major step in that direction.
Ready, Set, Go! is a grant program designed to assist communities in attracting sports and competitive events. The objective of the program is to attract major events that will bring visitors to the state and foster economic impact through the use of a unique fund designed to offset a portion of upfront cash or financial commitments. “The Ready, Set, Go! Program offers Wisconsin’s destination marketing organizations the chance to competitively bid on major traveling sporting events,” said Julia Hertel, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. “The economic impact of hosting a major sporting event can be profound for communities throughout Wisconsin.”
Started in 2005, the fund now has $100,000 available for matching grants and can provide as much as $20,000 for up to 50 percent of a bid fee, an up-front financial fee paid to the events holder, or financial commitments to secure a venue. Wisconsin’s Ready, Set, Go! grant program was developed by a coalition consisting of The Wisconsin Department of Tourism, the Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.