Doesn't it make sense that the USBC and BPAA should support those who support bowling?



    By Joe Lyou (Tenpin Slants)

    2007BowlExpoJoeLyou.jpgDoesn't it make sense that the USBC and BPAA should support those who support bowling?

    That question was raised during a press conference held in conjunction with the recent U.S. Women's Open in Reno.

    The tournament, of course, was staged inside the National Bowling Stadium, whereas the press conference—arranged by P.R. whiz Joan Romeo—was held in the office of Jennifer Cunningham, Director of Sales and Marketing for Circus Circus Reno, an MGM Mirage Property.

    At the press conference were several members of the Bowling Writers Assn. of America, who were in Reno to cover the U.S. Open.

    It should be explained here that Circus Circus, along with the Eldorado and Silver Legacy Hotels, comprise Tri-Properties Inc. of Reno.

    This group was specifically organized to support the National Bowling Stadium. The Tri-Properties hotels have cosponsored virtually every major bowling event conducted in the NBS since the "Taj Mahal of Bowling" opened in 1995.

    Getting back to the press conference, Cunningham used the occasion to announce that the city of Reno was bidding to host the 2011 USBC Convention. The bid will be officially submitted by Reno Mayor Robert Cashell and the Reno Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    A writer pointed out that the BPAA (Bowling Proprietors Assn. of America) frequently holds its annual convention "in cities like Cancun, Honolulu, Nashville and other resort sites."

    Another writer stated, "And all the hotels in those places are much more expensive than in Reno or Las Vegas. Also, there are plenty of other things to do in Reno and Vegas besides gambling."

    A third writer was of the opinion that "bowlers who compete in the annual NCAA Women's Team Championship would love to bowl in the National Bowling Stadium, especially if they've never seen it. I think the stadium is a perfect fit for bowling—and bowling is a perfect fit for Reno."

    This is why Circus Circus, Eldorado and Silver Legacy go all out to support bowling in general and the National Bowling Stadium in particular. Business increases dramatically in Reno whenever a major tournament is held at the stadium.

    The city of Reno learned that fact quickly, thanks to its long-term contract with the USBC, which has held its Men's and Women's Championship Tournaments every three years in the NBS.

    The original contracts were for 15 years with the ABC and WIBC, which later merged to become the United States Bowling Congress. Since the merger, the contract with the USBC has been extended for an additional 15 years.

    Cunningham emphasized that "Tri-Properties will do everything we can to support bowling and bowlers."

    She knows all about bowling, having tried the sport herself. "I'm not a very good bowler," Cunningham said, "but I have two young children who picked up bowling rather quickly. When you're young, everything seems to come to them naturally. I also take my children to play softball and golf."

    Many Californians are familiar with Jennifer Cunningham as she was the keynote speaker at the California Bowling Writers' luncheon that was held during the USBC California State Women's Assn. Convention this past June in San Diego.

    So, if anyone has any questions about the National Bowling Stadium or hotel accommodations in Reno, the one to contact is Cunningham. Not only is she a longtime Reno resident, but she was once employed at the NBS.

    You can call her at (775) 328-9287 or e-mail her at You'll enjoy talking with Cunningham as she's a very friendly person with a keen sense of humor. You can tell because she smiles and laughs a lot.

    Incidentally, a great time to visit Reno—especially if you're a fan of the Pro Bowlers Tour—is Jan. 9-13, when the PBA World Championship is conducted at the National Bowling Stadium. (Usually, there's no charge for admission at the stadium, but I'm not so sure since the new regime took over the PBA.)


    Just a reminder that the U.S. Women's Open will be shown over five consecutive Sundays on ESPN, starting Sept. 16.

    The first four shows were taped by ESPN. The winners of those four shows will return to Reno on Oct. 14 to decide the '07 U.S. Women's Open championship, with $25,000 going to the winner. The title showdown will be shown live by ESPN.

    Tom Clark, Chief Officer of Marketing and Communications for USBC, says the USBC will promote the shows heavily in hopes of building up the TV ratings.

    Clark added that "there will be comprehensive coverage by USBC Press Relations in e-mail blasts and on, leading up to each of the four preliminary rounds being shown on ESPN; also following up on results, and a big lead-in to the live final round.

    "We (the USBC) invested greatly in live coverage for the final so no one could ruin the drama of great bowling for great national championships."

    Some writers who were at the U.S. Women's Open chose not to write and reveal results of the first four shows. Clark, however, said there were "no secret agreements" to keep the results from the public.

    "Anyone was welcome to come to the shows in Reno, watch it all happen live and give a full report anywhere," Clark said.

    Bowling fans will enjoy watching the U.S. Women's Open on ESPN—even if they already know the results of the first four weeks. I know I'll be watching—and I was one of the writers who were in Reno for the taping.

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