The Neenah Streetball Challenge by Isaac Woelffer
The Neenah Streetball Challenge was a 3 on 3 basketball tournament hosted in downtown Neenah and was a staple in the community of Neenah for 25 years and it was run by a for profit company called Future Neenah. Sadly, this event came to a close in 2016.
This event brought in many people from around wisconsin to Neenah for 25 years benefiting the local community. The Neenah Streetball Challenge was run by volunteers and donations by local businesses. Although this might not seem like a good use of resources for the local businesses, it brought in more customers and got their company name out into the open as well which helped to improve sales. At its peak, over 500 teams were competing against each other which brought in over 2,000 people to the community which led to many competitors getting a hotel room in the area supporting the local economy while also helping the economy of neighboring cities. These people ate at local restaurants, bought food from local grocery stores and did fun activities such as going to Badger Sports Park in Appleton.
In 2016, this event only brought in 221 teams and only 881 people which is a major turnaround from what had happened in the past. Also, because it had become so small, the economic benefit that it had provided to the local economy for two days had diminished and it was becoming more costly to operate. It had become more costly to operate because the demand for the tournament had gone down, this led to the price of the tournament increasing which might have persuaded less people to participate in this tournament. Because of this shortage of players, the Neenah Streetball Challenge was no longer seen as a money making event which it had been in the past and because less people were attending the event, the demand to have the event went down. This was the last year the event was run by Future Neenah and it seemed to be the last 3 on 3 tournament that would happen for a while. Even though that the number of teams that were brought in for its 25th anniversary and last year, many people were sad to see it go because it had helped bring the community together and improve the local economy. This drove the demand back up for the tournament which helped to show the importance of the event.
By driving the demand back up for the event, the community including and around Neenah created a need for this event to continue. One person saw this as an opportunity to bring back the 3 on 3 tournament because he would be able to make money off of it as well as providing a service that the community desperately wanted. Also because 2017 was its “grand reopening”, more people were drawn into the event which helped the to greatly improve the local economy. Overall, the Neenah Streetball Challenge improved the local economy of Neenah and the surrounding towns by bringing people together to have a little fun. It is now called Wisconsin Streetball.
Froberg, Tim. “Neenah Streetball Could Return This Summer.” Post-Crescent Media, Wisconsin, 26 Jan. 2017, www.postcrescent.com/story/sports/2017/01/25/neenah-streetball-return-summer/97063744/.
Zettel, Jen. “Game over! Neenah StreetBall Calls It Quits.” Post-Crescent Media, Post Crescent, 17 Aug. 2016, www.postcrescent.com/story/news/local/2016/08/16/game-over-neenah-streetball-calls-quits/88832764/.