NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – (WJBF) The Nike Nationals girl’s high school basketball tournament is set to begin Wednesday. The competition brings about 5,000 people to North Augusta and $3 million in economic impact. North Augusta could be losing out on some of the money the tournament generates.
The thousands coming to the Riverview Park Activities Center will have to leave North Augusta to find a place to stay at night. The millions of dollars that both the Nike Peach Jam and Nike Nationals bring in revenue is spread out across the CSRA. One of the main reasons this happens is because North Augusta has no large hotels near the activities center.
North Augusta city administrator Todd Glover says while many consider the minor league baseball park the key component of Project Jackson, he argues the planned hotel will be the central piece and play a pivotal part in hosting visitors close to the water. “You’ve got to have a place for people to stay. If you want them to come to your community and stay for a few days, you need a place for them to be. Right now if someone wants to spend a couple days in our area in a large group, they have to go somewhere else,” said Glover.
North Augusta City leaders hope the hotel will allow North Augusta to host more conventions and events.
Augusta Sports Council leaders say a large hotel in North Augusta could be a good thing across the river as well. Stacie Adkins, the CEO of the Augusta Sports Council said, “North Augusta benefits from this because we use their facilities. So yes, the businesses in North Augusta are gaining, gaining business. At the same time, a lot of the amenities that guests require are in the Augusta area. So our businesses are benefitting as well.”
The Nike Nationals will run from today to Saturday. We’ll have coverage of the tournament on wjbf.com.