By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The world of Harry Potter is coming to Salem, Oregon this February.
Well, sort of as the city is hosting the US Quidditch Northwest Regional Tournament February 6 and 7.
“We’re really excited to host this event,” said Travel Salem’s Sports and Events Manager Brian Chung. “This will be the first time the tournament will be held in Oregon, and we’re excited to showcase our area to the Quidditch teams as well as all of the spectators that we anticipate coming to Salem to see an actual Quidditch tournament.”
Quidditch is slightly different than in the movie and book series as us in the “Muggle”-world mix sports like dodge ball, tag and rugby. In the book and movie series, each team has “Chasers” who score goals, a “Keeper” who defends the goal and two “Beaters” who try knocking out other athletes while a “Seeker” tries to catch the “Snitch” to end the game.
Toss in a broom that players must carry in between their legs and you’ve got the real-life version of Quidditch!
The bidding process was quite easy explained Chung. They were required to submit information about the fields, hotels, how close it is to an airport and so on.
What followed was a representative visited the city and evaluate the information was given to them and then the city was awarded the tournament and Chung is expected a solid contribution from hosting event to the city.
“Bringing new sporting events such as the Northwest Regional Quidditch Tournament to the region can have a significant economic impact on the local economy as tournament participants stay in area hotels, eat in local restaurants and shop in our stores,” said Chung.
“We estimate that the cash infusion from this event will be more than $58,000.”
Teams from all over the Northwest are coming to Salem: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and British Coulmbia, Canada. However, they aren’t any local Salem squads in tournament.
But they’re still time said Mary Kimball, Events Manager of US Quidditch.
“Reach out to your friends, and recruit in your community,” said Kimball. “Social media and meet up groups are a great way to find interested players. Before you play official matches, try out scrimmaging against other teams in your area to meet other players and gain valuable experience.
“To participate in regional’s, team must compete a number of requirements by January 23, 2016 at 11:59pm PST.”
For a list of requirements for the Northwest Region, visit http://www.usquidditch.org/about/Northwest-Player .
For other information about Quidditch, visit the website at http://www.usquidditch.org/ .
Jeremy McDonald is a professional sports journalist in the Salem/Portland area and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist in Oregon with B.S. degrees from Southern Oregon University in Journalism (2011) and Health/PE (2013). Got a story idea? Email him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81!
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