USBC partners with Syracuse Habitat for Humanity

By Matt Cannizzaro and Fran Piraino
USBC Communications

Over the past five months, the 2018 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships has occupied the Oncenter Convention Center and brought tens of thousands of visitors to the Syracuse area.

Though the 115th edition of the USBC Open Championships now is over, crews have dismantled the custom venue and the tournament is set to move on to Las Vegas, the event's legacy in the Salt City will live on through a partnership with Syracuse Habitat for Humanity.

Salvageable and leftover building materials from the venue are being donated to Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, which will use some in local projects and sell some at its local ReStore, with proceeds used to fund ongoing projects in the Syracuse community.

"Syracuse really is so fortunate to have been able to host this event, which gave the community a chance to welcome visitors from all over, while also receiving a boost to the economy," said Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of Syracuse Habitat for Humanity. "We're thankful for such a great donation. Materials, like lumber and countertops, will be used for our own builds and renovations, and the money raised from the items sold at the ReStore will be used to build homes and help us accomplish our mission."

A 50-day build process, which started during the first week of January, transformed the empty convention center into a state-of-the-art 48-lane bowling facility, and the venue welcomed 7,556 five-players teams during the tournament's 107-day run from March 24-July 8.

The tournament venue also included vendor booths, seating for hundreds of guests and bowling fans, a custom three-window trophy case, Squad Room, Scale Room, locker area, concessions area, offices and more, all built using materials that were purchased locally.

OCTeardownForWeb250x140The crew traditionally uses enough lumber and materials to build four three-bedroom homes. More than 10 miles of electrical, internet and fiber cable also is required. The venue is wired with enough electricity to power 10 homes.

The process of taking down the venue typically takes only 10-14 days.

The list of salvageable materials, beyond the actual lanes and the world largest mobile scoreboard, which are not included, includes lumber, drywall, screws, nails, plywood, the framing used under the lanes and more.

"It means a lot that we're able to spend money locally on materials and make an impact in a host city before the first bowler even arrives, and to be able to donate the salvaged and unused materials back after the event means our legacy forever will be a part of the community," said Greg Moore, USBC Senior Director of Tournament Programming. "We very much appreciated the hospitality we experienced during almost eight months here, and it now feels like we're giving back to our own community."

USBC and the local Habitat for Humanity chapters have been working together since the Open Championships visited Billings, Montana, in 2002.

The main mission of Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate substandard housing in communities across the globe, and Syracuse Habitat for Humanity is committed to building homes in Onondaga County. The majority of the funds come from individual donors, while the remaining sources of funding come from faith communities, foundations, organizations and businesses.

Syracuse Habitat for Humanity and the USBC also worked together after the 2011 USBC Women's Championships, which also was held at the Oncenter Convention Center.OCTeardown2ForWeb250x140

The 2018 edition of the world's largest annual participatory sporting event marked its fifth visit to Syracuse. The Open Championships also was held in the Salt City in 1935, 1958, 1973 and 1999.
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