Sports/Events = $19 Million Economic Boost for Salina

Making a “Salina pitch” to tournament organizers around the region, takes more than a couple of well groomed fields or reliable referees.

Tiffany Benien, Sports and Special Events Manager at Visit Salina joined in on the KSAL Morning News this week with a look at selling Salina – and the economic boost it injects into the community.

According to Benien in 2023 alone, Salina hosted 63 various events from a marathon to youth baseball tournaments that brought in nearly 48,000 visitors and an economic impact of $19.9 million dollars.

Benien says the recipe for success includes devoted volunteers and a small city with big entertainment opportunities.


Off and running in 2024

Benien added the recent 4A-1A State Wrestling Tournament held at Tony’s Pizza Event Center injected an estimated $1.9 million dollars of economic activity while the National Division II Christian Homeschool Basketball Championship held at the Fieldhouse chipped in an estimated $800,000.

The 4A State Basketball Tournament, which begins today at TPEC will kick in an estimated $1.3 million in economic activity as well.


·       KSHSAA 4A-1A State Wrestling – Feb 22-24 (3 Full Days) Tony’s Pizza Events Center

o   Record crowds 12,995; attendance 17,500 including 672 wrestlers ; shirts, back drop for pictures

o   Estimated Economic Impact – $1.9 million

·       National DII Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships – Feb 29-March 2 (3 Full Days at Salina Fieldhouse & KWU

o   82 teams from throughout the region – stemmed from a more local Smoky Valley Hoops Encounter Tournament

o   Estimated Economic Impact – $800,000

·       USA District 3 Kids State Wrestling Tournaments – March 2 (1 Day)

o    1100+ Wrestlers at TPEC

o   Estimated Economic Impact – $400,000


Upcoming this week

·       KSHSAA 4A State Basketball – March 6-9 – Tony’s Pizza Events Center

o   16 teams – plus family & spectators – large following, a good amount of overnights

o   To be Estimated Economic Impact – $1.3 million


In 2023

  • 63 Events (KSHSAA, KKOA, Salina Crossroads Marathon, USA FastPitch Softball, Salina Grand Slam, homeschool basketball, youth volleyball, youth Baseball, MAYB Basketball and Many others)
  • 47,933 Visitors
  • $19.94 Million
  • Visit Salina recorded more than 2,500 hours of labor from local volunteers.