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Economic impact of activities

November 1, 2012
By Ron Wood - SMSU interim president , Marshall Independent

It became very obvious to me over the last few weekends that a significant part of the economic activity within Marshall can be attributed to various events that take place through the activity schedules of ISD 413 and Southwest Minnesota State University. On September 22 as I arrived in Marshall I noticed buses at fast food restaurants, buses at our lodging establishments, individuals' downtown with sweat shirts from many high schools across the statethe Pursuit of Excellence band competition was underway. As I stopped at the Marshall Country Club there were over 150 collegiate women golfers starting the second day of a two day tournament and back at the University the University of Minnesota-Duluth Volleyball team was just arriving from their lodging to prepare for the afternoon match.

The positive economic impact of these events and several like them every month in the community creates an environment of economic prosperity.

The work being completed in partnership with ISD 413 to renovate "old Mattke Field" into a state-of-the-art track and field complex with a synthetic turf infield goes far beyond the academic and student activity partnership for which it is intended. An indirect benefit of the project is completing one more step to becoming the four-seasons-all-sport-hub that Marshall has been granted with the Southwest Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission designation. The track and field complex partnership between ISD 413 and SMSU is an example of groups working together such that the outcome is far greater than what could be accomplished individually. I repeat that if each organization went out on their own, the total expenditure would be greater and each organization's facility would not reach the quality of a shared facility. With the completion of this project we will without a doubt have more opportunities to make Marshall a sports destination location. We will be able to host major track and field events, and have a second synthetic field to expand upon band competition, hold soccer tournaments and host multiple football games to list only a few opportunities. The university is excited about the partnership, but even more so about the economic impact on the community that allows for the expansion of existing commercial venues and the addition of new commercial venues. But the circle needs to be closed to make us a true four season destination location.

To gain the ultimate economic impact granted Marshall by being designated a Regional Amateur Sports Center we need to complete the winter phase component of the circle of sports and activities available. We need to allow for hockey and other indoor winter activities. The opportunity is before us and I hope we are able to fulfill the plans of many years. We are so fortunate to have so many partners that have created so many gifts to the community. I hope the community can now give itself a gift that will continue to give back for decades to come.



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