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July 11, 2000

State Tourism Grant Helps Create "Rams Experience"

MACOMB -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced a $36,500 grant to the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) that will be used to help attract visitors to the St. Louis Rams summer training camp, which is being held for the fifth straight year at Western Illinois University.

A highlight of this year's training camp will be the July 29th "Superbowl 34.5", a scrimmage between the defending World Champion Rams and the Tennessee Titans.

"Hosting the Rams for three weeks provides a nice boost to the Macomb economy. By working to bring more spectators to Macomb during training camp, the economic impact will be that much greater," Ryan said.

The grant money, which is administered by the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' (DCCA) Bureau of Tourism, is being used to help develop a "Rams Experience" event at the training camp. The free event will be located at the tennis courts west of WIU's Brophy Hall. The "Rams Experience" will include informative displays, interactive sights and venues to meet members of Ram's organization.

"A recent study conducted by the U of I found that sports fans attending events in the Midwest spend nearly twice as much as a typical leisure travel party. By working with Macomb officials to enhance the experience of visiting training camp, we're helping maximize the economic benefits that the community derives from hosting the Rams," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough.


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