Badger State Games May Return to Wausau - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Badger State Games May Return to Wausau

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An area organization is trying to bring the Badger State Games back to Wausau.

The sports Authority will try to buy the rights to the winter games and revive them.

The plan was brought to the city council this week, and it then sent it to the finance committee to look over. Most of the committee wants it to happen, but only if the proposal fixes what killed the games two years ago.

The group will ask the city for $42,000 to buy the naming rights to the games.

"I have confidence in the Sports Authority that they can make things happen," said Scott Campbell, former president of the Wausau Curling Club, which participates in the games. 

The Sports Authority is part of the Convention and Visitors' Bureau.  The group will bring a plan in front of city council members next week.  The proposal will have to be approved by October 1. 

"I think this is a positive move for the city, because of our location, I think it can improve the local economy in this area," said finance committee member Dave Oberbeck. 

A stumbling block for finance committee members is the Sports Authority's asking for a five year commitment to the games. Committee members say they're more comfortable with a three year plan.

The plan will ask for money from an existing hotel room tax rate.

"I think it's a pretty minimal investment for the community to make," Campbell said.  "And I think the return would be very beneficial to our community. Not just Wausau, but all the surrounding area as well."

The city ended its partnership with the games in 2009, when participation declined.  Committee members say they will look at how things will be different this time around.

Dave Oberbeck says he fully supports the games.  Because of the economic activity, and they give people something to do.

"They allowed people from Wausau and the surrounding region something that was very positive, when things are kind of slow in the winter," he said. 

The Sports Authority holds events such as the Babe Ruth softball league, as well as a hockey tournament in the winter.

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