National Bowling Tournament returns to Syracuse in 2018
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A four month long bowling tournament is coming back to Syracuse for the first time since 1999.
The open championships is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors next year to the Oncenter.
Attendees can watch the tournament at a state of the art bowling facility which will be built in February of 2018.
Come next year, the Oncenter will turn into a 48 lane bowling alley, hosting thousands of bowlers over the course of six months.
Although, the USBC open championship is about one year away, the planning is underway now.
On Monday, it's league night at Flamingo bowl in Liverpool and word is spreading about next year's big event
"It's great for bowling, it's great for Syracuse in general. There's been a lot of initiatives to try to connect Syracuse University campus to downtown Syracuse, so an event like this is only going to help," Chris Fadore said.
The last time the U.S. bowling congress brought a tournament to Syracuse it was just women bowlers.
In 2018, it'll draw men, women and be even bigger.
"For Syracuse, NY to have that type of event not only puts us on the state or regional map, but national map for sporting events," Tracey Burkey said.
Syracuse won the bid for the tournament over a handful of cities. The six-month long open will bring bowlers from across the country to Central New York, promising a massive boost to the economy.
Visit Syracuse estimates the women's tourney a few years ago brought in $40 million.
"They're not only going to be bowling, they're going to be out and about in the community, spending money on hotels, restaurants, shopping, nightlife," Burkey explained.
If you've got the skills, prize money is big, close to $7 million will be awarded over the 6-month stretch.
Mike McCracken at Flamingo Bowl says he'll enter the competition.
"My competitive days of bowling are far behind me but I still put my shoes on and bowl and I won't miss that," McCracken said.
When the tournament is over next July, the wood for the lanes will be donated to organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
Registration for the tournament is open and this isn't a pro tournament, it's for all skilled amateurs.