Downtown Wheeling is expected to be packed this weekend as basketball players, coaches and fans from across the country come to town for an annual favorite, the Cancer Research Classic.
With the influx of people comes the potential for an economic boom.
The 12th annual event is being held at a new location this year, WesBanco Arena. It was previously played at Wheeling Jesuit University.
The Cancer Research Classic was played at Wheeling Jesuit it each of its first 11 years.
Between 8,000 to 10,000 people attended last year’s tournament . On top of that, the classic was streamed online by ESPN and attracted 10,000 to 20,000 viewers per game.
In 2018, between hotel rooms, food and other expenditures, visitors spent a little more than $15 million in Ohio County.
“You figure all of these teams are coming in, you’ve got kids staying somewhere, they have to eat, they have to get gas,” said Ohio County Commissioner Tim McCormick. Not only are the kids going to be here, but the parents are coming too, parents and families. You’ve got a nice influx of new people coming into the area, going to play at a really nice facility at WesBanco.”
The Cancer Research Classic was founded by Dr. Greg Merrick of Wheeling Hospital. He continues to serve as the event’s director.
The tournament features high school basketball powerhouses from across the nation, with some teams possessing future NBA players.
The action begins Friday at 1:00 p.m. and continues through Saturday night.
For a full schedule and more information visit cancerresearchclassic.org.
Be sure to stay with 7News for complete coverage throughout the weekend.