Baton Rouge welcomes 2012 USBC Open Championships


    United States

    Nearly 60,000 bowlers to participate in the 151-day tournament from Feb. 11 to July 10

    2012USBCOCBatonRougeRiverCenter.jpgWith help from Mayor Kip Holden, construction on the venue that will be home to the 2012 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships got underway in Baton Rouge, La., on Wednesday.

    Holden and Baton Rouge Area Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Paul Arrigo helped snap the official string line and turned over the keys to the Baton Rouge River Center as dignitaries, supporters and media got their final look at the empty convention center before construction crews turn it into a state-of-the-art bowling stadium.

    "We are excited to welcome the 2012 USBC Open Championships back to Baton Rouge," Arrigo said. "It is a pleasure to host the largest indoor participatory sporting event in the world. We look forward to the bowlers and their families returning to our city to enjoy our culture, cuisine and hospitality."

    Earlier this week, the USBC tournament crew welcomed the first of more than 40 truckloads of materials needed to transform the River Center into the biggest stage in bowling. Construction is scheduled to be complete during the first week of February.

    The finished venue will include 48 tournament lanes, four showcase lanes, squad room, locker room, concession area, offices and vendor space that will be bustling with nearly 60,000 bowlers during the tournament's 151-day run from Feb. 11-July 10.

    So far, more than 11,300 teams are registered to compete in the 2012 Open Championships, which will be the event's second visit to Louisiana. It first was held there, also in Baton Rouge, in 2005.

    "We're excited about being back in Baton Rouge, and we can't wait for the bowlers to see all of the changes to the city and the River Center since we were here in 2005," said Brian Lewis, USBC Managing Director of Tournaments.

    "We truly enjoyed the southern hospitality the first time around, and the community has rolled out the red carpet for us again this year. It has been nice to see some familiar faces, and it has been even better to see the trucks rolling in."


    Webcams mounted and ready

    2012USBCOCWebcam01.jpgSince being introduced in 2004, one of the most popular features of the USBC Open Championships page on has been the unique interactive webcams that are mounted in the rafters above the tournament lanes and give friends and family members a chance to watch the bowlers in action.

    Traditionally, there have been five webcams capable of taking live (still) pictures of the tournament action as it happens. Beginning in 2012, two of the cameras will be replaced with streaming cameras that will sweep the venue throughout the day and provide non-stop live video footage. The other three cameras will maintain the same capabilities bowlers and fans are used to.

    Viewers will be able to manipulate the three point-and-click cameras from home, allowing them to zoom in or out to photograph different parts of the venue.

    Currently, one of each type of camera is up and running, so visitors can stop by and check out how the construction process is unfolding at the River Center. The webcams can be accessed by clickinge here.


    Entry deadline extended for 2012 USBC Open Championships

    2012USBCOCLogo.jpgThe entry deadline for the 2012 USBC Open Championships has been extend to March 1, 2012, so interested team captains have time to sign up their teams. There still are some prime times available, but spots are filling quickly.

    For more information on the Open Championships, or to register a team for 2012, click here or call 800-514-BOWL.

    Sponsors for the 2012 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno. Other sponsors include the Belle of Baton Rouge, official brackets sponsor; Kegel, official lane maintenance provider; Humana, official registration sponsor; Bud Light and Budweiser, official beer sponsors; The Advocate, official publication sponsor; Brunswick, official lane provider; US Steltronic, official scoring system; Storm Bowling Products and Nationwide Insurance.


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