Thursday, February 24, 2005

USCF Moves to Tennessee

This is from the Nashville City PaperU.S. Chess Federation move seen as economic boon to Midstate
By William Williams, wwilliams@nashvillecitypaper.comFebruary 24, 2005
Chess is now big business in Tennessee.In April, the U.S. Chess Federation-sponsored Scholastic Super Nationals III will take place at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, bringing 5,000-6,000 student competitors here and potentially pumping millions into the local economy.Last week the federation relocated its offices from New Windsor, N.Y., to temporary space in Crossville. That Tennessee presence, officials say, will bolster the Midstate economy with employee relocations, future events, ancillary businesses, etc.“Our people will be buying houses, renting apartments, shopping — the impact will be in the millions,” said Grant Perks, USCF chief financial officer.Perks said the federation eventually expects to have about 22-25 employees in Crossville. In addition, the group plans to build a permanent home for an estimated $525,000.The facility is to be built on land near Interstate 40 that the Crossville Housing Authority Center is deeding to the federation. The three-acre parcel of commercial land is valued at $264,000. “From a local standpoint, [the move of the headquarters and the April super nationals event] will be a great thing for us,” said Alvin Harris, Nashville-based vice president of The Foundation for Tennessee Chess. Gov. Phil Bredesen has trumpeted the USCF’s headquarters move, according to press secretary Lydia Lenker.“It adds diversity to the job base,” Lenker said of the move.Officials estimate the federation can generate a minimum of $1.5 million annually for the Midstate economy.Harry Sabine, a Crossville attorney and state scholastic coordinator of the Tennessee Chess Association, said landing the USCF headquarters is a matter of “prestige.” “It’s a huge plus to Nashville,” Sabine said, noting that future super national events could be in the offing for Music City.Rob Mitchell, a local insurance agent and member of the U.S. Chess Federation, said the state ranks fourth nationally in the number of scholastic chess players. Many participate in tournaments that can generate revenue for municipalities.“High schools are putting money into chess,” Mitchell said.

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