Clark County Fairgrounds lands sponsor for annual boat race


The Clark County Fairgrounds has secured a sponsor that will bring powerboat racing back to Springfield this year.

Coldwell Banker Heritage Roediger has pledged a multi-year commitment to sponsor the NGK Powerboat Racing Tour at the fairgrounds in August, said Dean Blair, executive director of the Clark County Fairgrounds. The races are set for Aug. 10, 11 and 12 this year.

MORE: Tourism impact nears $400M in Clark County

“It was absolutely huge,” Blair said of the sponsorship. “There’s no question they are bringing this race to Springfield, Ohio. This race would not be happening without them.”

The deal will bring additional benefits to the fairgrounds as well. The company’s logo will be placed on the dog barn during this year’s Clark County Fair. But after that annual event is complete, the aging dog barn will be torn down. Students at the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center will build a new barn that will be named the Coldwell Banker Heritage Roediger Dog barn.

MORE BUSINESS NEWS: Honda sees sales set record for March, Accord sales lag

“The most exciting part is the way this has evolved for us,” Blair said. “Through this boat race we’re gaining theis multi-year sponsorship and commitment that’s going to yield us a brand new building and it’s all coming out of the boat race sponsorship.”

The multi-purose metal building will be heated for the first time.

RELATED: New $9M Urbana health center to open soon

“It’s one of the most dilapidated buildings here,” Blair said. “It’s also highly used because we have six 4-H dog clubs and a dog college coming here. They’re using all of our buildings here at the fairgrounds because most of the time either the weather’s not conducive to get into the dog barn because it’s not heated or because it’s in poor repair.”

The sponsor will cover the cost of the project over the next several years.

DETAILS: Used car sales hit record, Springfield dealers see trend locally

Local officials have said the boat races boosted the profile of the fairgrounds and provided economic benefits last year. More than 5,000 people attended the Springfield F1 Grand Prix in August last year. The race, which took place on the 125-acre lake at the fairgrounds, aired on CBS later in the fall. The race was previously held in Detroit for decades.

The three-day event featured two full days of racing in three classes — F-1, F-lights and J-Hydros — as part of the NGK F1 Powerboat Championship. Between 20 and 25 boats participated in the inaugural event.

Local officials have estimated the race contributed as much as $500,000 to the area’s economy. Officials from the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau that tourism’s impact on the economy was close to $400 million last year.

The fairgrounds are undergoing significant change as local officials try to leverage the site to bring more overnight visitors to Clark County. The Clark County Convention Facilities Authority recently approved a proposal to provide $50,000 in funding to re-brand the Clark County Fairgrounds as Champions Park.

About $20,000 from the CFA would be spent on banners that would improve the look of the fairgrounds and make it easier for visitors to park and find their cars at crowded events. The remaining $30,000 would be spent on a variety of initiatives, including designing a new logo, updating websites and social media pages, administrative costs and purchasing billboards to drive traffic to the fairgrounds.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

6-year-old boy with special needs missing from North Carolina park
6-year-old boy with special needs missing from North Carolina park

Emergency responders began a massive search at a North Carolina park Saturday afternoon for a 6-year-old boy with special needs. Maddox Ritch was last seen at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Search and rescue boats were sent to the lake at the park. Authorities said he was wearing an orange shirt with “I’m the man&rdquo...
Nordstrom selling taped-up, 'distressed' shoes for $530
Nordstrom selling taped-up, 'distressed' shoes for $530

If you're looking to buy a pair of trashed sneakers with duct tape across the toe, Seattle-based Nordstrom has you covered.  For $530, Nordstrom is selling the Superstar Taped Sneaker made by Golden Goose.  "Crumply, hold-it-all-together tape details a distressed leather sneaker in a retro low profile with a signature...
18-month-old found alone in shopping cart in Target parking lot
18-month-old found alone in shopping cart in Target parking lot

Police are investigating after a child was found in a shopping cart alone outside a Target in Massachusetts. Authorities said the boy, who is about 18 months old, was found around 1 p.m. Saturday in Easton. The boy was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for further evaluation, but police said he appeared to be unharmed. Authorities said two...
Student of the Week Graham High School
Student of the Week Graham High School

Name: Chase Adams School: Graham High School Grade: 12 Age: 17 Extra-curricular: Basketball, Baseball, Student Senate, Freshman Focus Claim to fame/honors: 2nd team CBC, Falcon Pride Student of the Month, Honor Roll, perfect attendance for all of high school Words you live by: “The true test of a man’s character is how he handles adversity...
Athlete of the Week Graham High School
Athlete of the Week Graham High School

Name: Brady Oder School: Graham High School Grade: 12 Age: 17 Sports: Soccer, Bowling Claim to fame/honors: 1st Team CBC; 1st Team District Words you live by: “Live, Laugh, Love.” Toughest opponent: Life Biggest influence: My parents Game-day rituals: Just think about the game What’s on your bedroom walls: Paint and medals When I&rsquo...
More Stories