Open Championship bowling to pump $70M into Syracuse economy

Nearly 40,000 bowlers from across the world expected at Oncenter March 24-July8

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - It has been years in the making, but the USBC Open Championships are about to get started in Syracuse, lasting 107 days.

This will be the fifth time Syracuse has hosted the event for men and women of all skill levels, from amateur to top level professionals.

The last time Syracuse held the Open Championship was in 1999.  The City did host the USBC Women's Championship in 2011.

In only about 50 days, the Oncenter has been transformed into a championship level bowling venue.

Duane Hagen, USBC Open Championship Tournament Director, says, "You just kind of have that sense of pride, you want to show it off.  You want to show it off to the community, you want to show it off to the bowlers and you can't wait for them to get here."

Visit Syracuse President and CEO Danny Liedka tells NewsChannel 9, "Starting off in March is a good time, it's a slower time so the whole area really benefits from this and its not just restaurants and taverns, its shopping and entertainment."

The event is expected to generate at least $70 million in economic impact at local hotels, restaurants, shops and other entertainment venues.

"It gives us credibility, so I think it has a tremendous impact in going after new business without question to say we've hosted something of this magnitude, not only hosted it but hosted it well."  Liedka says.

This will mark the 115th year for the Open Championships, and USBC Senior Director of Tournament Programming Greg Moore says they're always looking to freshen it up.

"The DNA structure that our SU student did, Mark Zbikowski, is just a great feature that nobody's thought of that we've never had," Moore said.

The schedule begins with the New York State High School Championships March 9-11.

The Special Olympics National Unified Tournament will be held March 14-15, followed by the Syracuse USBC BA City Tournament March 15-16.

The Open Championship runs March 24-July 8.

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