U.S. Rowing National High Performance Center unveiled

Friday, October 3rd 2008, 7:21 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- One thing that helps the economy in Oklahoma, and really puts them on the map is the ever increasing number of sporting events.

Oklahoma City is now going to be the place where future members of the Olympic Rowing team will come to train. This is just another way Oklahoma is becoming a premiere spot for sporting events.

The Oklahoma River is a hot spot for rowing competitions, now it'll be a one-of-a-kind spot for training.

"I'm pleased to announce the formation of the new U.S. Rowing National High Performance Center here in Oklahoma City," U.S. Rowing Executive Director, Glen Merry said.

The center's headquarters will be in the Devon Boathouse, which will break ground soon along the river.

"I think that's incredible, that's fantastic for Oklahoma," Oklahoma First Lady, Kim Henry said. "It's just one more thing for us to have and to tout here in Oklahoma."

With its new NBA team, the Thunder, being host to the NCAA basketball championship and Big 12 basketball tournaments as well as being home to the 67th Senior PGA Golf Championship, Oklahoma has made a name for itself.

"They do have a significant economic impact, but they also rebrand you," Roy Williams with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce said.

Sporting events and major training facilities are a way for the city and state to stand out, all over the world.

"I think it is another step in what we are trying to do in showing the world Oklahoma City and what possibilities exist here," Williams said.

The U.S. Rowing High Performance Center is part of that big picture, to brand Oklahoma City, and change its image.

"It just makes Oklahoma City a major destination now," Henry said. "Before I don't think people thought of Oklahoma City as a major destination, and now it is."

Oklahoma City is a destination. One thousand athletes from all over the country will compete in races at the Oklahoma Regatta Festival, out on the river this weekend.