SOURCE: Bowling Proprietors' Association of America

Bowling Proprietors' Association of America

January 06, 2010 10:00 ET

Bowling Industry Makes Sports History With Grand Opening of International Bowling Campus

Industry Unites Under a Single Roof in Arlington, Texas Complex That Includes International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, International Training and Research Center and National Headquarters for Bowling Proprietors' Association of America and United States Bowling Congress

ARLINGTON, TX--(Marketwire - January 6, 2010) - For the first time in the 5,000-year history of the sport, the bowling industry will be united under one roof with the grand opening of the International Bowling Campus (IBC) in Arlington, Texas, an unprecedented event in sports history. The IBC, located at 621 Six Flags Drive, is in close proximity to the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the Rangers Ballpark and the Six Flags Over Texas theme park. The 100,000-plus square foot IBC complex will house more than 200 employees. At 2:30 pm on January 25, the campus will open its doors with a historic ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by a star-studded gathering of national and local celebrities.

The campus will serve as home to the new and expanded International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. The state-of-the-art museum will feature interactive displays and exhibits along with rare, one-of-a-kind items from the various eras dating back to 3,200 B.C. The IBC will also house the International Training and Research Center (ITRC) and an expansive pro shop making it the premier pro shop of the bowling industry. Additionally, the IBC will act as the central operating facility for the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) and the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).

"The International Bowling Campus marks a first in sports and its impact on the bowling industry simply cannot be understated. Bringing together all of the leading entities in bowling under a single roof is a tremendous step forward in uniting and strengthening our industry," said Steve Johnson, executive director of the BPAA. "With already more than 69.3 million bowlers in the U.S. alone, the opening of the IBC sets the stage for a new era of growth for bowling and signifies the incredible worldwide resurgence in popularity that bowling has seen in recent years."

"The grand opening of the International Bowling Campus is a historic event that ushers in a thrilling new era for bowling. Through the creation of the IBC, which includes the first International Training and Research Center, we have a world-class facility that enables us to offer tremendous resources to help enhance the sport of bowling across all levels of play," said Stu Upson, executive director of the USBC. "Additionally, working side-by-side with the BPAA will further enable us to enhance and strengthen the sport of bowling on a local level."

In addition to the BPAA and USBC, the International Bowling Campus will include the:

--  International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame - Formerly located in
    St. Louis, Missouri, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame
    collects, preserves and displays the 5,000-year history that has lead to
    the sport of bowling's worldwide success. In addition to outlining the
    history of bowling, the completely interactive 21st century International
    Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame will focus on the contemporary era of the
    sport, specifically its youth programs and international competition. The
    museum will also house the Celebrity Hall of Fame exhibit, including
    inductees Lynn Swann, Jerome Bettis and Tom Candiotti. Custom bowling
    industry merchandise and branded memorabilia will be available at "Spare
    Partz," a unique concept in museum stores.
    
--  International Training and Research Center (ITRC) - A United States
    Olympic Committee-recognized training center, the ITRC will serve as a
    world-class training facility for professional and amateur bowlers, and
    will include 20 lanes for training, research, testing and television
    broadcasts (of the 20 lanes, six will be used exclusively to test and
    certify bowling equipment prior to worldwide distribution, replicating all
    lane conditions). The center's research area will include cutting-edge
    tools such as a robotic ball thrower, a computerized ball tracking system
    and a state-of-the-art biomechanics package designed to analyze actual
    bowling movements and test equipment. The center will be the training home
    for Team USA, Junior Team USA, international teams, numerous college and
    high school teams and elite coaches.
    

The campus will also be home to the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association (IBPSIA), the School for Bowling Center Management, the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America (BBIA), Bowling News Network (BNN), Strike Ten Entertainment (STE), Bowling Writers' Association of America (BWAA) and The Bowling Foundation (charitable arm of the industry).

"The new facility will bring events such as the BPAA Bowling Summit, International Bowl Expo in 2011 and numerous nationally televised bowling competitions, which will enhance Arlington's reputation as a leading Southwestern tourism destination," said Dr. Robert Cluck, mayor of Arlington.

The grand opening celebration will also include:

--  International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and ITRC ribbon-cutting
    by state and local officials
--  Ceremonial "first roll" on the lanes at the ITRC
--  Unveiling of the "Walk of Fame" commemorative brick walkway at the
    main entrance to the IBC
--  Grand opening of the ITRC pro shop and "Spare Partz" museum store
--  Burying of a historic time capsule
--  Open house and touring of the new facilities
    

The grand opening events will be held in conjunction with the BPAA's Bowling Summit, which will be attended by proprietors representing thousands of bowling centers from across the United States as well as the industry's leading manufacturers and suppliers. For more details about the International Bowling Campus, please visit http://internationalbowlingcampus.com/.

About International Bowling Campus

The International Bowling Campus (IBC) is the headquarters for the bowling industry and directly serves the more than 69 million bowlers in the United States. The IBC houses the resources of the United States Bowling Congress, the governing body and membership organization for the sport; the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America, representing the business interests of bowling centers; Strike Ten Entertainment, the marketing arm for the industry; the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame; The Bowling Foundation; the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association; the Bowling Writers' Association of America; the Bowling News Network; the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America; and the International Training and Research Center.

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