Local businesses to ‘score big’ during upcoming Governor’s Challenge
SALISBURY, Md. – In less than a week, the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center will be filled with thousands of fans and more than a hundred high school basketball teams from across the country as they take on one of the largest holiday tournaments to date.
“We’ve got teams from all over the country. San Diego, Rhode Island, the Carolinas, everywhere in between,” said Governor’s Challenge Director, James Simmons.
With 5 days, 30 teams, and hundreds of highly anticipated match-ups, the 39th Annual Governor’s Challenge has proven time and time again the impact it has both on and off the courts.
“We’ve seen a ton of kids from the Eastern Shore get opportunities from playing in this event, and that’s kind of what it’s all about for us. It’s just a huge tournament community impact wise, economic impact wise,” said Simmons.
Last year alone the challenge raked in about $1.5 million and this year the expectations are no different.
“They’re spending money in restaurants, they’re going to the mall, they’re going to the movies, they’re spending money in our town,” said Simmons.
Sub Runners owner Bill Neville tells 47 ABC during the tournament his staff is often working around the clock trying to keep up with all the orders.
“Every year we kind of know we might need an extra driver on the nights that the games are going on and especially after the games when they get back to their hotel. We get a lot of extra deliveries to the hotel rooms, we supply gift certificates for the teams and they take advantage of that, and a lot of times they spend over and above,” said Neville.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“We sold McDonald’s out of burgers here right on 50 there, all the teams went there after the slam dunk contest,” said Simmons.
But money aside, event organizers say they just want to make sure everyone who visits the area has an experience that they’ll never forget.
“What’s most important to us is we just give a great experience no matter where you’re from, no matter how good your team is. We try to treat everybody the same and put them on the highest level and make sure they just have a great experience here,” said Simmons.