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January 5, 2018

Auburn sports tourism study results to be unveiled

The results of a $31,000, three-month study on how sports tourism may benefit Auburn will be unveiled Monday night at a City Council workshop.

Results will be presented by Jason Paquin, general manager of Norway Savings Bank Arena and the city's sports tourism coordinator, and representatives from Huddle Up Group, LLC, the Arizona sports tourism consulting group that the city hired in September. They will present a preliminary strategic plan, as well as an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats identified during the study.

"This is an exciting step in developing Auburn as a sports tourism destination in this region," said Paquin in the release. "This is the culmination of our consultants' findings, and I encourage residents to attend or watch the meeting online."

Paquin and the Huddle Up representatives will also be available to answer the public's questions at 9 a.m. Tuesday in City Council chambers.

Huddle Up offers strategic planning, venue feasibility studies, best practices for servicing sports groups, speaking engagements and staff searches, according to its website. "We recognize that empowering sports organizations and nonprofits is key to strengthening communities," it says.

Mayor Jonathan LaBonte in September said the city must attract outside spending to strengthen its economy.

"What we lack in lobsters and lighthouses, the images that dominate Maine's largest industry of tourism, we make up for with the potential of sports like skiing, hockey, basketball, soccer, baseball and others," he said in a news release.

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