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College volleyball championship means big business for Seattle

College volleyball championship means big business for Seattle
FILE - Washington’s Kaleigh Nelson (6) and Lianna Sybeldon, right, go for the block on a killshot by Southern California’s Sara Shaw, below left, in the finals of an NCAA college volleyball regional tournament match in Los Angeles on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
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SEATTLE - Four of the country's top women's college volleyball teams are in town competing for the national championship. But, if you ask area businesses it's really the local economy that's coming out on top.
The Seattle Sports Commission and Visit Seattle, a nonprofit marketing organization, says the combination of the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship and the annual convention of the American Volleyball Coaches Association will help pump more than $3 million into the local economy over the next several days.
"Seattle's selection as host for the 2013 championship and AVCA convention is a testament to the city's draw as a sports destination," Tom Norwalk, President and CEO of Visit Seattle, said in a statement. "NCAA is just the start as we pursue other collegiate and amateur sports events in the years to come."
The championship is being held at KeyArena and features the University of Washington, Penn State University, the University of Texas and the University of Wisconsin. The two-day event sold 31,000 tickets; it's the first championship sell-out since 2008, with an estimated 40 percent of those ticket holders coming from outside King County, according to Visit Seattle.
Between the championship tournament and the coach's convention, more than 4,000 hotel room nights, retail and restaurant spending and transportation costs are expected to give local businesses an extra boost during the busy holiday season.
The tournaments kicks off Thursday night. The University of Washington will play Penn State at 9:30 p.m.

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