Clarksville-Montgomery County is poised to welcome nearly 3,000 guests next week for three divisions of the Amateur Athletic Union’s Boy’s 10-and-Under National Basketball Championships.
Since 1999, the city has hosted dozens of regional and national AAU basketball events. This year, 50 teams from 18 states including California, New York, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Louisiana, Indiana, along with and most states bordering Tennessee, will make their way to Clarksville for championship play.
“AAU events, and the national championship, in particular, bring thousands of visitors to our community,” says Tom Kane, incoming Visit Clarksville board of directors chairman and Fortera Credit Union CEO. “But, they also serve as the summer vacation destination for many of the families who are traveling here for the games. Folks will come a few days early or tack on extra at the end to enjoy and experience more time in Clarksville. This single event enables us to build awareness of Clarksville all across the country.”
Four local gymnasiums plus Austin Peay State University will lend their facilities to pool play and championship games. Registration will be held Friday, July 6 at The City Forum. Opening ceremonies will follow at 7:00 p.m. at Austin Peay’s Fortera Stadium featuring a parade of athletes, skydivers, torch run, and guest speaker Austin Peay State University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matt Figger. Opening ceremonies are open to the public. Gameplay tips off on Saturday and culminates with championship bracket play on July 11.
For each tournament played in Clarksville-Montgomery County, millions of dollars are brought into the community through several different avenues. Tournament visitors, including players, coaches, family members, and spectators spend funds on hotel accommodations, food, entertainment, and shopping. Projected visitor spending of nearly $2.5 million during the event supports a wide range of local businesses, but also directly contributes to the city, county, and state tax base, as well as the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.
Since 1999, visitor spending, or economic impact, from AAU national tournaments totals upwards of $28 million. An upswing in county tax revenue is historically seen during the months that the basketball tournaments are in the community.
“The support of our local hotels and restaurants, along with our many volunteers, is the key to our success with all of our sports events,” said Kane. “We could not continue to offer this level of successful service to our guests year after year without that broad base of support.”
Volunteers are still needed to help with registration and opening ceremonies. If interested, please contact Karyl Kirkland at 931-245-4346 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clarksville-Montgomery County promotes itself to AAU site selection committees on several main points including major interstate access, proximity to the Nashville Airport, multiple well-equipped venues within a short driving distance, committed community members and businesses, and dedicated media coverage. To qualify for the selection process, each city must present the elements that make their community competitive, as well as pay a bid fee. Bid fees for these tournaments are funded through a grant from the Aspire Clarksville Foundation, the privately funded community marketing, and economic development initiative.
“The Aspire Foundation was designed to help the community develop in high-impact areas across multiple sectors, including tourism,” said Mike Evans, Executive Director of the Aspire Clarksville Foundation. “Through generous funding by our investors, Clarksville has the opportunity to competitively recruit events such as AAU Championships and other sporting events.”
All games are open to the public and free of charge for Clarksville-Montgomery County residents and active duty Military with valid ID. All others may purchase tickets at the door. Daily Passes are $15 for adults and $10 for ages 6-14. Weekly Passes are $45 for adults and $35 for ages 6-14. Children five and under are free. Game time each day begins at 9:30 a.m., with the last games ending at 6:15 p.m.
For a complete schedule of events, brackets and other tournament information go to VisitClarksvilleTN.com/AAU.