South Point Hotel and Casino’s new $35 million bowling tournament facility, South Point Bowling Plaza, rolls into Las Vegas eight months early with a full schedule of tournament events beginning on Saturday, Nov. 1.
After signing a 12-year deal with United States Bowling Congress (USBC), Las Vegas Events (LVE) and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) in April 2013, South Point Bowling Plaza has scheduled 122 days in 2015, 210 days in 2016 and 310 days of tournament operations in 2017.
“South Point Bowling Plaza offers a state-of-the-art, customized facility that was strictly designed with the needs of a tournament bowler in mind,” said Ryan Growney, South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa general manager.
“Having built five bowling facilities throughout his career, (South Point owner) Michael Gaughan’s experience in the bowling industry has allowed us to create an unparalleled tournament bowling plaza that will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact to this city.”
The South Point Bowling Plaza, a spacious 90,000-square-foot facility, features 60 lanes with two parallel rows of 30 lanes, a 360-seat viewing area and a 720-unit locker room.
In addition, the USBC tournament bowling-focused center includes a 350 seated squad room equipped with a team photo booth area, stub lane, ball check station and bracket room.
For the first time in history, Brunswick, Daktronics and USBC partnered to create two 167-foot state-of-the-art digital displays with static and animated advertising capabilities, spanning across the two 30-lane competition floors.
During the design process, each lane was built on free-floating slabs to ensure the facility is equipped with soundproof barriers. Each pair of lanes has two score boards for ultimate display throughout the concourse area.
The width of the flooring between the ball return and lane spans a larger length than usual tournament facilities to offer bowlers with the maximum angle of attacks. As a tournament bowling facility, each pair of lanes is fitted with ball returns, undercarriages and round tables equipped to carry up to 38 balls in order to meet the average ball-to-athlete ratio.
“Michael Gaughan and his team have created a breathtaking arena that is perfect for our championships and brings great pride to the entire bowling industry,” said Chad Murphy, USBC executive director.
“We are extremely grateful to have such outstanding support from South Point, Las Vegas Events and LVCVA helping create a spectacular experience for USBC members as they come and enjoy all Las Vegas has to offer.”
Over the span of the agreement, South Point Bowling Plaza will host several annual USBC events, including the USBC Women’s Championships in 2016 and the USBC Open Championships in 2017.
The partnership will bring more than 40 additional tournaments, conventions and short duration events to Las Vegas including events such as the USBC Masters, USBC Queens, USBC Senior Masters and USBC Team USA Trials.
“We sincerely appreciate the partnership we have with the South Point,” said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events.
“This public/private partnership allows us to bring nine major bowling events to Las Vegas, plus a minimum of 40 additional events over the next 10 years. Combined, these events will bring more than one million visitors to the destination. Without the new facility, none of this would have been possible.”
In 2009, the USBC Open Championships, held at Cashman Center in Las Vegas, ran for a record 154 consecutive days with a capacity total of 17,200 teams competing from Feb. 21 to July 24, 2009.
The total estimated attendance for bowling participants and their travel parties was 292,750 with an average room stay of 4.3 nights and a non-gaming economic impact of more than $120 million.
Las Vegas also was host city for the USBC Open Championships in 1986. The USBC Women’s Championships previously was held in Las Vegas in 1973 and 1983, attracting 9,644 and 14,430 teams, respectively.
With participation estimates for the Championship events taken into account, South Point Hotel is able to accommodate hotel reservations for an estimated 27 percent of visitors, while the remaining 73 percent will occupy rooms throughout the city during event s held for the duration of this agreement.
“Las Vegas and the new world-class bowling plaza at South Point Hotel and Casino offer the perfect backdrop for the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and Women’s Championships,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
“This is a strong partnership that leverages the proud heritage of bowling and a state-of-the-art, multi-million-dollar tournament facility with the excitement and energy of Las Vegas. That’s a winning combination.”
The $35 million facility will make its public debut with the ESPN television finals of seven GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI events, six of which will be conducted Saturday and Sunday for delayed telecast on ESPN beginning Sunday, Dec. 14. The seventh event will be the live stepladder finals of the PBA World Series of Bowling on Sunday, Jan. 11.