A major endurance race is coming to the Tri-Cities — and it’s expected to bring in thousands of athletes, supporters and staff, plus millions of dollars in visitor spending.
Ironman has announced the Tri-Cities as the site of its new Ironman 70.3 Washington Tri-Cities triathlon to be held in 2024, 2025 and 2026. Event dates are Sept. 22, 2024; Sept. 21, 2025; and Sept. 20, 2026.
Visit Tri-Cities will take the lead in facilitating, in collaboration with the cities of Richland and West Richland and other regional communities and agencies, Visit Tri-Cities said in a statement.
The international triathlons are expected to bring in 2,500 athletes each year, plus 7,500 visitors, crews and support staff, leading to $6 million to $8 million in visitor spending.
“Ironman is one of the most recognized global brands in endurance sports and we are thrilled they have selected the Tri-Cities to represent that brand. The benefits of hosting an Ironman 70.3 event are extremely positive and go far beyond the millions of dollars it will bring in through visitor spending,” said Kevin Lewis, chief executive officer of Visit Tri-Cities, in the statement.
Tim Brosious, northwest regional director for The Ironman Group, added that he expects athletes to “fall in love with the rolling hills of wine country, as Tri-Cities will not only become a staple in their racing calendar, but also a favorite place to vacation year-round.”
Lewis, who joined Visit Tri-Cities in November 2022, came to the Tri-Cities from the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office in St. George, Utah, where he is credited with attracting the Ironman World Championships.
The Ironman triathlon isn’t the only sporting event Visit Tri-Cities has helped recruit to the area recently. The tourism agency also secured the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association world championships in 2024 and 2027, with each event expected to have a $1 million economic impact.
The local Ironman triathlon will kick off at Howard Amon Park with a 1.2-mile swim, followed by a 56-mile bike ride through wine country and ending with a 13.1-mile run along Riverfront Trail.
Officials from Richland and West Richland praised the news.
“This will be a remarkable event and we’re thrilled to play such a key role in its success,” said Richland City Manager Jon Amundson in the statement.
West Richland Mayor Brent Gerry added that the event “will bring people to enjoy our beautiful and great community, allowing us to share our wonderful recreation opportunities.”
Recruiting the Ironman triathlon to the Tri-Cities was a priority of the newly formed Tri-Cities Strategic Alliance, which is a partnership among Visit Tri-Cities, Tri-City Development Council, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and Benton-Franklin Council of Governments.
Want to take part in the 2024 race? General registration opens Oct. 25.
Learn more: www.ironman.com/im703-washington-tri-cities.
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