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Badger State Winter Games to Stay in Wausau


WAUSAU, Wis. (WTAQ) - When the Badger State Winter Games in Wausau lost their top sponsor last fall, many people thought the event would find a new home. But organizers now say the games will stay in Wausau in 2011.

For years the winter games in Wausau have meant big tourism dollars for north central Wisconsin. This year alone, organizers say more than 3,000 athletes descended on Wausau, bringing in about $1 million in hotel, food, and retail spending.

But in November Wausau's Convention and Visitors, the game's top sponsor, said the event didn't attract enough out of state tourists, and withdrew its financial support, an estimated $76,000.

Jessica Gammey of the Wisconsin Sports Development Authority – which organizes the games -- says it costs over $500,000 to run them, and losing 20 percent of their funding mechanism was a huge blow. But they’ve gone back into planning mode and will work to figure out the financial viability of continuing them in the current location.

Gammey says organizers are still seeking new backers, including area businesses and groups. But the 2011 games will stay in Wausau, with snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing.