With summer in full swing, it's "game on" for local sporting events in Rhode Island. Beginning this weekend, a triumvirate of high-energy sporting events will race into local venues, hotels and restaurants.
The Ocean State adds to its rich sporting history with the hosting of the 111th U.S. Women's Amateur Open Championship, held August 8 to August 15 at the Rhode Island Country Club. In Cranston, the Little League Regional 9-10 Baseball Tournament tees off from July 30 to August 6. And if you hear rockin' in downtown Providence on August 7, please come knocking - it's only the inaugural Rock ‘n' Roll Providence ½ Marathon.
John Gibbons, executive director of the Rhode Island Sports Commission, is appreciative of these events because of the beneficial economic impact they will make throughout the state.
"These are fun, family-friendly events that will bring more than 15,000 visitors to our hotels, restaurants, beaches and other attractions," stated Gibbons. "We hope that many of the athletes will return to Rhode Island for a vacation in the future."
The Rock ‘n' Roll Providence ½ Marathon is the first of its kind in the New England region with more than 7,000 racers and live music at every mile. Touted as a "13.1 mile block party," the August 7 race culminates with a free headlining concert in front of the State House featuring Sugar Ray. Led by Mark McGrath, Sugar Ray is best known for such hits as "Fly," "Every Morning," and "When It's Over." The event is expected to utilize seven hotels in Providence and two in Warwick. Officials are expecting approximately 14,000 people, including racers and spectators.
In nearby Barrington, the 111th US Women's Amateur Championship will take place from August 8 to August 15. Held at the Rhode Island Country Club, this marks the ninth time the tournament will be played in Rhode Island. Started in 1895, the Women's Amateur is a match-play competition consisting of 18 holes of golf and routinely identifies some of the golf's greatest women players.
From July 30 to August 6, Cranston looks to add another chapter in the Little League record books by hosting the Regional 9-10 baseball tournament. Last year, the Cranston Western all-star squad won the state championship and this year's tournament expects to draw teams from 11 states up and down the Atlantic seaboard.
The Rhode Island Sports Commission is a division of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau whose mission is to enrich the Rhode Island economy and community through the attraction, promotion and development of sporting events and associated meetings. The Commission is the recipient of the 2011 Readers Choice Award from Sports Events magazine and 2011 Special Recognition Award from the Rhode Island Division of Tourism.