Youth tournament brings $24 million to Knoxville

10:56 PM, May 25, 2010   |    comments
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Knoxville will become an instant millionaire over the next four days thanks to a popular kids tournament.

This is the 10th year Destination Imagination has held their Global Finals on Rocky Top.

15 thousand tournament attendees will eat, sleep and pay for transportation within Knoxville's city limits through the weekend.  Some of the activities are held on the University of Tennessee campus where many of the participants are housed.

"Economic impact for the city is roughly $24 million this week," said Karen Massey, Director of Event Services at the Knoxville Convention Center.

28 DI staff members and 400 volunteers wait for teams from all 50 states and 12 countries to arrive.

The students have been working on creative projects for much of the year leading up to Destination Imagination's Global Competition.

"The challenge is simply an open-ended task where we give a scenario and a situation of how we want them to solve it with criteria that they're going to be appraised on," DI spokesperson Matthew Arts explained.

DI is paying the Knoxville Convention Center $222,000 to rent out their facilities.

Domino's Pizza on Cumberland Avenue plans to rake in a bunch of dough too.

"We'll make 5,000 pizzas just for DI.  It puts on an extra 20-25 employees all week for us," said store owner Peter D'Andrea.

The group will host their annual global tournament in Knoxville through 2014.

This year's opening ceremony will take place Wednesday night.  The closing ceremony is planned for Saturday night.

Visit Destination Imagination's website to learn more about the program.


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