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Sports Authority funding gets second look


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Wausau's finance committee has agreed to give the Sports Authority up to five years of funding that will help attract and host sports events throughout the region.

The committee voted 4-1 Wednesday night to share about $42,000 in room tax funding each year with the sports marketing group, which is an arm of the Wausau-Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau. The city will review the Sports Authority's performance each year over the first three years and has an option to extend the funding at the end of the third year.

“We're happy with the commitment to continue that funding,” said visitors bureau executive director Darien Schaefer. He said the Sports Authority will bid on a major softball tournament and other events by October 1st, pending City Council approval of the deal on Tuesday.

Alderman Jim Brezinski voted against the compromise. He tried unsuccessfully to reduce the Sports Authority's share of a half-percent of the room tax.

“My hope would be we share some of that wealth and distribute that equitably among applicants,” Brezinski said, arguing for a plan that would give the Sports Authority three-tenths of a percent in room tax funding.

Every other municipality that funded the Sports Authority with room tax dollars when it first launched last year – including Mosinee, Rib Mountain, Rothschild, Schofield and Weston – has already approved the additional funding for the next five years.