The Katy City Council has approved a $110,000 tourism grant to the Southland Conference for advertising and operational costs for next year’s Southland Conference Basketball Tournament.
The conference plans to bring its high-profile tournament back to the Merrell Center in 2013.
In presenting the request, Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett said the request was “identical to the last two years.”
Of the $110,000, a total of $65,000 will be spent on advertising and promotion for the tournament, while the remaining $45,000 will go to defray the rental and operational costs of the Merrell Center.
“The Southland Conference Tournament will bring thousands of visitors to the Katy area to enjoy 14 college basketball games in five days. To promote the event, the Merrell Center and Katy, the Southland (Conference) is planning to spend $65,000 for advertising,” the conference said in its grant application. “This includes $23,000 for outdoor advertising, $20,000 for print advertising, $7,000 for radio advertising and $15,000 in television advertising. All advertising mentions Katy and the Merrell Center.”
In his presentation to the council, Burnett said this year’s tournament, which took place March 6 – 10, brought more than 12,000 basketball fans to Katy. Additionally, more than 100 media representatives came to the city to cover the tournament, including national coverage on ESPN.
The tournament resulted in 1,100 “documented” hotel room nights, Burnett said, as well as an estimated 500 – 700 others.
The 2013 tournament is scheduled for March 12 – 16.
Council members unanimously approved the Southland Conference grant.
The council deferred action on a second tourism grant application, this one from the Katy Ski Jam, because no representative from the event was present to discuss the request.
The Katy Ski Jam, a professional water ski tour stop at The Lakes of Katy, had requested $11,801.01 in tourism funding.
Tourism grant funds are generated by the city’s hotel/motel tax receipts and can only be used to fund events and activities that bring additional tourism to the city.