MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- Since 2005, the Iowa high school swimming championships have had the same home and it was a good one.
“Well, it certainly was a championship atmosphere. You could feel a the energy and intensity in the room with state swim meets,” said Carol Hibbs with the YMCA/YWCA in Marshalltown.
That changed on Tuesday afternoon, when the Iowa High School Athletic association notified officials in Marshalltown that the event would be moved next year to Iowa City.
“Needless to say, we expressed our disappointment here to the Iowa High School Athletic association but we understand their position of wanting to have a championship venue and a college university is pretty hard to compete with,” said Hibbs.
Hibbs said that no official reason was given on the change and she harbors no ill will towards the committee that picks the venue.
It’s not just the YMCA that will feel this hit. The swim meet is one of the biggest events Marshalltown hosts all year and businesses are worried this could be a big blow.
“We know there is around 3,000 people, so you do the economic impact on that study, that’s quite of bit of revenue it brings to the community,” said Val Ruff, Marshalltown Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director.
Ruff says they are already recruiting other big conventions to make up for loss revenue, like a tumbling championships. But for now, they will go back to drawing board and see how they can make Marshalltown more attractive.
“Step up our game. Really, make it a great bid proposal in three years down the road. Hopefully, we will have an opportunity to bring them back,” said Ruff.