ESU excited to host NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 8:43 PM CDT
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EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) - “It’s always exciting when you get a bid like this and you get to have Emporia State and our community be on a national scale.” Emporia State Athletic Director Kent Weiser said.

A Champion will be crowned on the track in Emporia.

“All of a sudden, we’re crunching numbers and doing some math and seeing who can be here to run on our home track because we’d want to have a good showing for the home crowd and the home facility.” Emporia State Track and Field coach Steve Blocker said.

Emporia State’s Welch Stadium and Zola Witten Track were picked to host the 2024 and 2026 NCAA Division 2 Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

“That opportunity is always so exciting to bring a new group of people and coaches and student-athletes and fans and we’re very pleased with that.” Weiser said.

While event goers take in the incredible feats of strength and speed, the city will see a huge boost to local businesses.

“You can look at it in the raw numbers that the Kansas department of Wildlife and Tourism has their formulas that they’ll calculate economic impact and they estimate this impact for our region to be well over $4 million of investments." Emporia Vice-Mayor Rob Gilligan said. "That’s local businesses, but also, it’s the opportunity that we have to bring visitors to our community to fall in love with our community. One of the things that we’ve learned is we only need to have an opportunity with somebody once to make them want to come back and spend some time in our region. So it really has a longterm effect for us.”

Considering the difficult times the world is in, this gives athletes something to look forward to.

“Our student-athletes and our community members all wanting to see a light at the end of the tunnel." Weiser said. "It’s a long time away but it’s a short time away. And when you have something to look forward to it really raises the spirit so, it couldn’t have come a better time.”

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