SBD/Issue 212/Events & Attractions

Gravity Games Expected To Contribute Millions To Cleveland

The city of Cleveland is betting that the Gravity Games "will generate upwards of $25[M] for the local economy this summer," according to Peter Kowalke of CRAIN'S CLEVELAND, who notes that over 330,000 visitors are expected at the week-long event, which is set for July 31-August 4. Greater Cleveland Sports Commission President David Gilbert said that the Gravity Games are expected to add between $25-30M to the local economy. But Kowalke writes that "all that exposure for Cleveland and the potential for financial gain have a price tag: $475,000 up front to Gravity Games LLC plus several hundred thousand dollars of services." The city of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners each contributed $200,000 to attract the event. The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland gave $50,000 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum contributed $25,000. Lorna Wisham, Assistant Dir of Community Relations for the city of Cleveland, said that the city "also will spend about $300,000 to help construct and manage the games. ... But Gravity Games LLC must reimburse the city for services beyond the contracted $300,000." Gilbert noted that the city has a two-year contract with the Gravity Games, "although contractually the Gravity Games could wait until 2005 before bringing the games to Cleveland again." Gravity Games Dir of Sales Michael Arzt said that the Games "haven't recruited the amount of corporate sponsorship that organizers would have liked." Arzt: "A lot of businesses in Cleveland don't know what it is or are already invested in the Indians or the Browns." Gravity Games Event Dir Chris Prybylo said that "of the 50 to 60 exhibitor booths at the games, local sponsors bought about 15" (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND, 7/22 issue). To see a comprehensive list of the Gravity Games corporate partners, "Spons-o-Meter: Gravity Games Has A Perfect Ten Partners". Indianapolis-based Sport Service has signed a deal with Primedia Enterprises to be the exclusive provider of Gravity Games-branded merchandise a the '02 event (Sport Service).

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