By Connie Weight firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @ntvconnieweight
A nationally known tournament brings in more than just basketball players it brings money to Kearney as well.
During this week's Miss Basketball and last week's Mister Basketball tournaments, 128 teams from 15 states are spending their dollars at local businesses. From downtown to the mall to campus, business people say many folks reap the benefits.
For 21 years, this tournament has been returning its success to the community.
"It's rewarding to me the size of the tournaments now and the impact we have and the businesses that supported us when we started 21 years ago and along the way, the businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, people like that who have been behind us," said tournament organizer Doug Koster. "And now the size and scope of these events are a huge payoff and stuff for those local businesses when those people come to town.
"We certainly see the impact of traffic on the streets and traffic in the restaurants, but I know our community welcomes that and the economic impact is huge from these tournaments," said Kearney's Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jan Rodehorst. "So we certainly we deal with a little more traffic and little more wait in a restaurant but we want to make these young people feel welcome."
College recruiters and families are here for these tourneys too. Business owners hope that turns into future dollars being spent in Kearney.