Crews prepping Syracuse's Oncenter for huge bowling tourney

US Bowling Congress Open Championships takes place March through July

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The transformation of the Oncenter in Downtown Syracuse into a premiere bowling venue is in full swing.

Crews have the state of the art scoreboard in place and within a few days will start laying down the 48 lanes for the US Bowling Congress Open Championships.

Over 35,000 men and women from around the country will compete in Syracuse from March to July for this tournament.

It was back in 2011 the Oncenter hosted the USBC Women's Championship, but things expand greatly this year with both women and men invited to participate in the Open Championships.

Duane Hagen, USBC Open Championships Tournament Director says, "This event is going to be quite a bit larger as far as the number of people and there's quite a few more elements to the Open Championship that might not have been incorporated in the Women's event, so we've just gotta put a lot more into the same box."

Over the next 60 days, the full build out will happen and bowling officials say just the two plus months of set up alone will pump over a million dollars into the local economy.

More than 50 tractor trailers are needed to haul all the material needed for the entire operation taking up all of the Oncenter.

USBC Senior Director of Tournament Programming, Greg Moore says, "It requires all of this work before we even begin competition, so we have to spend money on payroll, housing materials, all of which we do in the local community." 

Moore tells NewsChannel 9 about the careful thought put into set up so when the tournament is all done it can leave another lasting mark in the community with Habitat for Humanity.

"The drywall pops right off, we're able to take the top plate and bottom plate off and now you're left with the two by four that because of the big headed nail it's very easy to pull those out.  And they've got something they can either use in construction or place in their restore for resale."

The first ball will be rolled for the New York State High School Championships March 8 and 9.  

A few weeks later the Open Championships start and will go nearly around the clock 7 days a week through early July.

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