The Convention & Visitors Bureau announced today that Stoa, a speech and debate organization for Christian homeschooling families, selected Springfield for its 2016 National Invitational Tournament of Champions.
The event is expected to bring about 3,000 high school and junior high students, parents, coaches and spectators to the city May 20-28, 2016, said Mark Russell, president elect of Stoa. The championships will take place on the Drury University campus.
“Drury is extremely pleased to play host to the 2016 Stoa national tournament,” said Rob Fridge, Drury’s chief financial officer. “We’re excited to help bring this group of high-achieving students and their families to Springfield, and we expect nearly every room on our campus to be bustling with activity over the course of eight days next spring."
The CVB also expects the city to be bustling with families staying at hotels, shopping, dining and visiting attractions when they’re not busy at the tournament. The CVB estimates spending of about $125 per person per day.
Russell said Springfield was a natural choice for the annual tournament, which rotates to the east, west and central parts of the country.
“Springfield truly has a strong reputation with homeschoolers with the National Christian Homeschool basketball tournament,” Russell said.
Stoa is the second organization for homeschooled students to select Springfield for a large event.
Since 2009, Springfield has been home each year to the National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships, a spring tournament that brings more than 8,000 people to the city and is the largest annual group event in Springfield. The city also hosts the National Christian Homeschool Spring Basketball Nationals, Fall Basketball Nationals, Fall Volleyball Nationals and Fall Tip-Off Basketball Tournament.
“This is a great event for Springfield made possible by the collaboration and cooperation of Drury University - a key in Stoa’s selection process,” said Tracy Kimberlin, president/CEO of the CVB.
For more information about these and other group events brought to the city by the CVB and the Springfield Sports Commission, call 417-881-5300. The CVB and Sports Commission are nonprofit organizations working to improve the local economy through growth in travel and tourism in the city.