Today, Iowa Department of Economic Development Director Mike Tramontina announced the certification of 10 Regional Sports Authority Districts.

Ames, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque, Ft. Dodge, Mason City, Sioux City, Quad Cities and Waterloo/Cedar Falls were all named as certified districts.

"Sporting events draw in more than just participants," said Tramontina. "Coaches, judges and fans stay in hotels, dine in restaurants and shop while they are here, making a significant impact on Iowa's economy."

Created during the 2007 Legislative session, the Regional Sports Authority District program was designed to certify up to 10 districts for the promotion of youth sports, high school athletics, the Special Olympics or other non-professional sporting events. Each certified district will receive $50,000, an equal distribution of the $500,000 appropriation.

Convention and Visitors Bureaus across the state were eligible applicants. Districts could include more than one city and more than one Convention and Visitors Bureau. The certification process was conducted by the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

Tourism is a $6.3 billion industry in Iowa, employing nearly 65,000 people statewide and generating nearly $308 million in state taxes. The Iowa Tourism Office is part of the Iowa Department of Economic Development. For more information about Iowa tourism, visit, call (800) 345-IOWA or stop at any Iowa Welcome Center.