The Nation’s Largest Amateur Track & Field Event Starts Today

The Lake County CVB & Hammond Track Club host the 2006 AAU Championships

Merrillville – February 17, 2006 – Athletes traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California to compete in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Youth Track and Field Championships this weekend in Merrillville. The next three days will bring more than 600 boys and girls to the Merrillville High School Field House to compete for gold, silver, bronze, and copper medals.

During the past 5 years Lake County has benefited from more than $4 million in direct economic spending as a result of amateur sporting events. Speros A. Batistatos, President/CEO of the Lake County CVB said, “The Bureau sees a tremendous growth opportunity in the amateur sporting event market. We continue to aggressively pursue such events as AAU to fill our hotels during the off-season. Sports marketing will continue to be one of our most significant markets.” So important, that the LCCVB recently hosted the inaugural Sports Commission Workshop, and is in preliminary stages of forming The Northwest Indiana Sports Commission.

AAU is one of the largest not-for-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the nation. A multi-sports organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs. AAU events brought more than $225,000 in local economic impact in 2005.