DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Miami Valley economy will see a major boon while 15,000 participants compete in two weekends of color guard and percussion and wind championships.
“It’s definitely one of the largest events, if not the largest, in terms of economic impact,” explained Jacquelyn Powell, the president and CEO of the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For the 33rd time in its 42 years, Winter Guard International (WGI) is hosting its world championships for color guard, winds and percussion in Dayton. The region’s longtime role has made it the pinnacle destination for the sports.
“We’ve been trying to make it here for four years now,” said Constance Reynolds, who drove 5 hours with her color guard team from Oak Ridge, Tennesse. “This is my senior year so it’s a huge milestone to be able to come out here before I graduate.”
The competition started Wednesday with 350 color guard teams from across and outside of the U.S. Through Saturday, they’re performing at the University of Dayton Arena, the Wright State Nutter Center, the Xavier University Cintas Center and the BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University.
Many of the same venues, with the addition of Hobart Arena, will host percussion and winds teams during next weekend’s championships.
“You’re going to see almost every seat completely full. It’s going to be insanity, but insanity in the most positive way possible,” Jordan said of the atmosphere.
Between the two weekends, the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates 60,000 people visit the region with a direct economic impact of close to $21 million.
“Visitors are coming from outside of our community and they’re spending money in our restaurants, at our hotels, retail, for the venues they’re competing in,” said Powell.
Orlando, Florida was recently vying to host the championships, but Powell said WGI chose to stay in Dayton because of its proven reliability, longstanding relationship and welcoming atmosphere.
Jordan said, “[Visitors] get not only this WGI experience we’re able to provide in Dayton, but also get that Dayton experience as well.”
You can find a schedule of this weekend and next weekend’s events by clicking here.
If you’re interest in watching the competition, but cannot attend in person, you can subscribe to a livestream service and watch here.