LOUISVILLE (August 8, 2012) – The Office of the Mayor, along with the Louisville Sports Commission, announced today that the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) has selected Louisville as the host city for its 2013 and 2014 National Championship Tournaments.
This will be the first time Louisville has hosted the NWBA sporting event, in which more than 1,000 athletes compete annually. The local economic impact is expected to be nearly $1 million with each tournament.
The 65th NWBA Tournament, scheduled for April 17-21, 2013, will be one of Kentucky’s largest athletic events in 2013 and the largest wheelchair basketball tournament in the world. The 2013 tournament is expected to have the most players and spectators in its 65-year history. In addition to hosting the 2013 and 2014 tournaments, Louisville may have the option to host a third year in 2015.
The announcement was made at HOOPS Multisport & Fitness Complex, which along with the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center will host tournament play. Representatives of the Local Organizing Committee, which includes Office of Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville Sports Commission, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Frazier Rehab Institute and Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation, were joined at HOOPS by NWBA Executive Director Randy Schubert.
“The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is very excited to be moving our National Championships to Louisville in 2013 and 2014,” said Schubert. “The enthusiasm and support from the community leaders during the bid process, the quality of facilities and amenities, and the rich tradition of wheelchair basketball in Kentucky made our board’s decision very easy.”
Sadiqa Reynolds, chief of community building for Metro Government, welcomed the NWBA, on behalf of Fisher.
“We are very excited about all the opportunities this event will provide for Louisville,” said Reynolds. “The championships will not only offer economic benefits, but will also be a chance for citizens to get out and watch world-class athletes in action. We are grateful to the NWBA for giving us this chance to showcase everything Louisville has to offer.
“The athletes who will come to Louisville to participate in the NWBA tournament know the importance of teamwork,” said Karl Schmitt, executive director of the Louisville Sports Commission. “And, it was through outstanding teamwork that we were able to assure Randy that Louisville was the best location to host his tournaments for the next two, possibly three years. Working with the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kentucky State Fair Board and HOOPS, we are excited at the opportunity to provide the NWBA’s athletes a great experience on and off the courts. Additionally, the expertise of the staff of Jewish Hospital and Frazier Rehab Institute enables us to provide the NWBA with the complete confidence that their athletes can successfully compete at a championship level in Louisville.”
Frazier Rehab is serving as a member of the event’s local organizing committee and will provide event support and volunteer participation.
“This is one more way that Frazier Rehab and Louisville Metro can demonstrate and promote independence, function and the benefits of physical fitness to individuals with disabilities,” said Steve Ahr, vice president at Frazier Rehab Institute.
Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation Adapted Leisure Activities division will also lend support to the tournament.
“Our ALA division is committed to inspiring and encouraging individuals of all abilities to be physically active,” said Parks director Mike Heitz. “So, we are especially delighted to be involved in hosting the NWBA event.”