Eau Claire, Wisconsin the land of opportunities

Hundreds of collegiate table tennis players, coaches and fans converging on Eau Claire, Wisconsin for the 2015 national championships will find plenty of things to do in the host city.


By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chair


City leaders are hoping the visitors will enjoy three exciting days of table tennis action, but also take advantage of the many things going on in Eau Claire.


Shopping along historic Water Street, eating fish at local restaurants, and taking in the Eau Claire Figure Skating Ice Show at the Hobbs Ice Center are just a few of the items on the to-do list for guests coming to the April 10-12 table tennis tournament.


The 2015 TMS Collegiate Table Tennis Championships is the main attraction for visitors from dozens of colleges stretching from California to Mississippi and up north to Canada.


But the games also bring nice economic benefits to Eau Claire, so city leaders hope the visitors spend lots of money during their stay.


"We estimate that this event will generate $83,700 in economic impact for our community,'' says Michael Strubel, director of sales & events with Visit Eau Claire.


That's not pocket change. There are more than 300 table tennis people coming, so staying a few nights in the city's hotels is music to the ears of Eau Claire leaders.


What is Eau Claire known for?


"We are the horseradish capital of the world, producing more horseradish here than anywhere - thanks to Huntsinger Farms and Silver Spring Foods,'' Strubel says. "We are home to one of the longest active youth ski jumping clubs in the nation.''


The list goes on. Try out the Friday fish frys at various locations in the city, a longtime Wisconsin tradition.Shop at Revival Records, a super-cool record store with a big selection and local music.


The Eau Claire downtown is just a ten-minute walk from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a 10,000-student university. On the 333-acre campus along Garfield Avenue, the Wisconsin-Eau Claire sports teams, whether softball, wrestling or football, are known as the BlueGolds.


Anybody hungry? The Nucleus Cafe consistently serves the best breakfast in town (and great coffee) while Mona Lisa's is well- known for its fine Italian dining. Historic Water Street is just down the hill from the tournament venue.


Eau Claire is located about 90 miles from St. Paul, Minnesota. That's really not too far from the Mall of America in Minneapolis. It is the biggest shopping mall in the USA.


But spending money and having fun in Eau Claire would make people like Michael Strubel pretty happy. He can't wait. "This is a big deal for Eau Claire,'' he says. "We're welcoming this event with open arms!''


The 2014 TMS Collegiate Table Tennis championships was held in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.


It was a success, but National Collegiate Table Tennis Association leaders and sponsors are hoping for even better things from the three-day tournament in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


"We are delighted to take our biggest tournament of the year to the Dairy State,'' says NCTTA President Willy Leparulo. "We appreciate the warm reception we're getting so far from the good folks in Eau Claire.''


The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams.  The event is sponsored by TMS International, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 10th and continues through Sunday April 12th at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.


The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org

About USA Table Tennis

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). www.usatt.org