BUTTE - Butte’s summer festivals make plenty of noise for the local economy.
But sports tournaments give an important economic boost to the city, like this year’s Mile High Classic that is expected to bring 190 4th through 8th-grade basketball teams to the Mining City.
“With 190 teams coming in it fills up all the hotel rooms in the town and Anaconda and Whitehall. So that’s good and it’s a huge benefit, economic benefit for the city,” said tournament organizer Jay McCloskey.
Girls and boys will be playing in courts all around the city in this tournament that’s been around for 21 years. Many organizations contribute to its success.
“Butte Central, Butte High, the Civic Center, Montana Tech, you know if it wasn’t for everybody coming together and allowing their gyms and their facilities to be accessed for this tournament we wouldn’t be able to do something at this magnitude,” McCloskey said.
Everybody knows that Butte’s summer festivals are important to Butte’s economy, but after the holiday season, things around here get a little cold so it’s important for these tournaments to heat things up.
“They come at a great time for the community for the hotels and restaurants when things are just a little bit slower this time of year and it is a nice bump for them to get this kind of business this time of year,” said Butte Civic Center Director Bill Melvin.
Officials estimate this weekend’s tournament could add about $4,000 per team Butte’s economy. Games will be played Saturday and Sunday in gyms all across Butte.