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Sports enhance economy

    As the organization charged with enhancing the state’s economy through sports, our attention was caught by something on June 10. Viewers nationwide tuned in to watch events that were almost exclusively Oregon — Oregon State University in the College World Series on ESPN, the Champ Car Grand Prix on ABC and the Prefontaine Classic on NBC. It’s likely that this marked the first time Oregon had three nationally televised sports events broadcast simultaneously.

    Viewers throughout the country, and even around the globe, had the opportunity to watch the Beavers defend their title, learn about the upcoming Olympic Trials at Hayward Field and witness the amazing speed of Champ Car beneath the scenic backdrop of Mount Hood.

    While the combined value of these telecasts is immeasurable, the direct tourism and economic impact of an event such as Champ Car is more quantifiable. At more than $8 million annually, there’s no doubt it’s an event that Portland can’t afford to lose.

    We need more weekends packed with nationally televised sports events, and we plan to work with Champ Car and the city to ensure that happens.

    JOHN HERMAN
    President

    DREW MAHALIC
    Chief executive officer
    Oregon Sports Authority
    Southwest Portland

     — Letter to the Editor, The Oregonian, June 19, 2007


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