U.S. Quidditch Cup 9 brought the world of Harry Potter to Columbia for the first time last weekend, Apr. 16 and 17, and brought with it an economic boost to the Columbia area.
The game is a mix of rugby, dodgeball and tag, according to the U.S. Quidditch website. The tournament, drawn from the popular game in the Harry Potter series and part of a partnership with the Columbia Regional Sports Council, saw 60 competing teams, from collegiate or club backgrounds, with over 1,200 athletes in attendance and 5,000 spectators, many in costume.
Cola Daily reports that the tournament generated more than $850,000 in local spending, according to “initial, conservative” estimates by Grayson Hopp, the Columbia Regional Sports Council’s sales manager.
Although the event was held at Saluda Shoals Park, where there were food, drinks and live music, team members and spectators visited local breweries, restaurants and various Columbia-area attractions.
The sports council estimates the economic impact of the tournament to be $857,897, about $150,000 more than was previously projected, says Cola Daily.
In comparison to other events in Columbia in the last several months, the Famously Hot New Years celebration had an impact of $1.2 million in the past year. The other major sports council event, the U.S. Tennis Association Junior Team Tennis National Championship, in partnership with the Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission, is a four-day event that has an impact between $460,000 and $680,000, meaning the Quidditch Cup has significantly benefitted the Capital City.
The sports council relays to Cola Daily that they hope the Cup will return again next year, in 2017, and a bid has already been placed for the tournament.