Every year the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) awards school districts within the state the opportunity to host major sporting tournaments on their campuses and in partnership with their local communities.
These events have an enormous impact on the local economy as players and fans utilize area lodging and dining facilities.
For the past three years, the Tourism hub and AAA recruiting cluster have worked to form partnerships with area school districts, Lyon College, the Batesville Advertising and Promotions Commission, and the Batesville Parks Department in an effort to make Independence County a competitive location for hosting future events.
In 2017, the Southside School District was awarded to the 4A State Soccer and Volleyball Tournaments. Partnerships between Lyon College, Southside School District, and the Batesville Parks Department provided an ideal atmosphere for the many teams competing.
In 2018, the Southside School District was once again awarded the 4A State Soccer Tournament which took place in May of that year.
Thanks to the work of the AAA recruiting cluster, in 2019, the Batesville School District hosted the 4A State Track Tournament on April 30th and Southside School District hosted 4A Soccer, Softball, and Baseball Tournaments on May 11th-13th.
These events brought over 80 high school teams to Independence County. The total direct economic impact of these events was over $200,000.00.
The Batesville Advertising and Promotions Commission partnered with each school district through their Event Incentive Grant Program and awarded the Batesville School District $620.00 and the Southside School District $3740.00 for hotel stays attributed to their events.