WGI competition returns to Dayton and boosts economy
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A competition that draws thousands to the University of Dayton Arena is back for the first time in two years.
The second weekend of the WGI Sport of the Arts World Championship runs from Thursday to Saturday with the wind and precession competitions.
“It’s the athleticism of any Olympic event combined with the pageantry of a Broadway stage,” said WGI COO Bart Woodley.
The event returned to UD Arena after a two-year hiatus caused by COVID-19. The 2020 event was canceled and the 2021 event was held virtually.
“Just the resilience of all of these groups to persevere through this pandemic and come out the other side swinging and ready to compete is so, so exciting,” Woodley said.
The last time the event took place in 2019, it drew 68,000 people and an estimated $24 million in economic impact on the Miami Valley.
“Every hotel, every restaurant, everyone knows who WGI is when we’re in town,” Woodley said.
This year, the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) predicts the event will be a little smaller than in the past, with an estimated 55,000 people attending.
“We always know this is an important event for our community, it’s a big deal for our community,” said Jacquelyn Powell, president and CEO of Dayton CVB.
Powell said the return of WGI along with the first four high school basketball tournaments and upcoming events is the boost Dayton needed after the pandemic hurt the hospitality industry.
“It’s great business to come back to our hotels and restaurants at venues, our attractions are seeing business from that as well, and of course they’re spending money on retail and stuff. when they are here in our community,” Powell said. .
The 2022 World Championships will mark the 35th year that WGI has been hosted in Dayton.
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