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Casper economy to lose out on estimated $2.3M with cancellations of state track, art
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Casper economy to lose out on estimated $2.3M with cancellations of state track, art

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State Track - Friday

Powell's Kadden Abraham, center, and Worland's Jacob Newell, left, sprint around the track in the Class 3A boys 300 meter hurdles prelims in May 2019. This year's Wyoming State High School Track and Field Championships, typically held at Harry Geldien Stadium in Casper, have been canceled because of coronavirus concerns.

Casper will miss out on an estimated $2.3 million injection into its local economy because of the coronavirus-related cancellation of the state art and state track and field events, which were to be held here this spring.

A committee of Casper residents called Proud to Host the Best work to bring Wyoming High School Activities Association state-culminating events to Casper and raise money to offset bid costs to host tournaments. Proud to Host the Best, working in conjunction with Visit Casper, announced the financial impact findings on Tuesday.

“The benefit of having state tournaments and events in Casper is not something we take lightly or for granted,” chairperson Megan Miller said in the release. “The loss of a single one of these is felt at businesses throughout Casper.”

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The Class 4A/3A State Basketball Championships were also canceled just after the first quarterfinal games were completed to limit the spread of the virus. Some visiting fans and teams never arrived in Casper — an economic loss that wasn’t reflected in the $2.3 million figure.

Visit Casper CEO Brook Kaufman previously said the cancellation of the 2020 College National Finals Rodeo, the weeklong national rodeo championship bringing people from across the country to Casper each June, cost the city $1.9 million.

“The impact of these events on our economy is extensive,” Kaufman said in Tuesday’s statement. “When state events are not in Casper, our entire community feels the loss. While this spring’s state art and state track are cancelled due to coronavirus, it’s vital that as a community we work to continue to raise funds to keep these types of events in Casper for years to come.”

In total, Proud to Host the Best’s efforts to bring state-culminating events to Casper interject an estimated $13.9 million into the local economy, according to Visit Casper.

Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @BradyOltmans

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High School Sports Reporter

Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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