Reno-Tahoe set to host 2003 ESPN Great Outdoor Games
ESPN Outdoors Communications Dec. 10, 2002
The announcement was made today in Reno by Nevada Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt and Michael Rooney, senior vice president and general manager of ESPN Outdoors.
"Reno-Tahoe will be a great host for the Great Outdoor Games," Rooney said.
"We're looking forward to sharing the intensity and authenticity of the Games with a new region, while we again showcase the best outdoors athletes from around the world with top-quality television coverage."
The fourth annual Great Outdoor Games, in which top international athletes match up in 20 events across four sport disciplines, are expected to expose the natural beauty of the Reno-Tahoe area to a worldwide audience, according to Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn, who issued a statement praising the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor's Authority for reaching the agreement with ESPN.
The events will take place at Reno-Tahoe's Rancho San Rafael Park, on the Truckee River, and at sites yet to be determined.
"We are thrilled that northern Nevada is following our lead to brand the state of Nevada as an outdoor adventure destination," Guinn said.
"Landing the ESPN Great Outdoor Games is validation for the positioning, as well as a tremendous opportunity to get exposure for the unique adventure experience of Reno-Tahoe."
ESPN president George Bodenheimer said the agreement is good for both parties and for the outdoors audience.
"We launched the ESPN Outdoors initiative to serve the 82 million Americans who enjoy outdoor sports every year," he said.
"The Great Outdoor Games is a major component of our efforts, and we expect that this move to the West will give a whole new fan base great access and exposure to the event."
The Great Outdoor Games come to Reno from Lake Placid, N.Y., where they attracted crowds of 60,000 to the 2002 Games.
"This partnership is a perfect match," said Jeff Beckelman, president and CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor's Authority (RSCVA).
"Reno-Tahoe has a strong history of event experience that sets the platform for attracting record-breaking crowds," Beckelman noted.
"We applaud ESPN for recognizing Reno-Tahoe as America's adventure place and we look forward to the mutual benefits that an event like this creates."
ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports will televise more than 19 hours of Great Outdoor Games original programming this summer.
Last year's telecasts were the highest-rated and most-watched ever, increasing viewership by 15 percent on ESPN and 42 percent on ESPN2. In addition, the ABC Sports telecast earned a 1.52 rating, up 19 percent from 2001.
"We're excited about this opportunity to share the excitement of the Great Outdoor Games with a whole new fan base in Nevada," said Tom Schaefer, senior vice president for the Western Region of Charter Communications.
"Charter is committed to the kind of quality programming that ESPN is known for and we look forward to joining them in their promotions effort."
"In addition to the RSCVA and Charter, we will continue in our strong relationship with our presenting sponsor, Dodge," Rooney said.
"Dodge has been on board with the Great Outdoor Games since they began and we look forward to sharing the adventure and opportunities in Reno-Tahoe with them."
Most of the events will be held at Rancho San Rafael Park on Reno's northwest side. The flyfishing will be conducted somewhere on the Truckee River, and the bass fishing likely at a nearby reservoir in northern California, ESPN officials said.
The world's top outdoor athletes will gather at the ESPN Great Outdoor Games in Reno-Tahoe July 10-13, 2003. The event features one-of-a-kind, head-to-head competition in timber and target events, sporting dogs, and fishing.
While the free event entertains large crowds on site, the ESPN Great Outdoor Games also draws a worldwide television audience. More information can be found at www.greatoutdoorgames.com.
Reno-Tahoe is America's Adventure Place, offering over 40 golf courses and the largest concentration of ski resorts in North America all within 90 minutes of the Reno/Tahoe International Airport.
Reno-Tahoe is the premier four-season destination with unlimited outdoor recreation, an abundance of arts and culture, numerous dining options and 24-hour gaming excitement.
For more information on Reno-Tahoe: America's Adventure Place, log onto www.renolaketahoe.com or call 800-FOR-RENO.
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