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The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority announced today the grand opening of the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame (IBM/HF) at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., hours before the opening ceremonies of the 2012 USBC Women’s Championships.  
The Reno museum and hall of fame is the first satellite location of the IBM/HF. The actual museum is located in Arlington, Texas, on the first level of the International Bowling Congress which is home to the United States Bowling Congress, the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and the state-of-the-art, Olympic-style International Testing and Research Center.
While the museum in Arlington features scores of interactive displays, thus appealing to a wider, younger audience, the satellite at the National Bowling Stadium targets the bowler by featuring displays of Bowling Artifacts, General History, Tournament History, Technology and Science, Women’s Influence on Bowling, and pays tribute to the famed Beer Teams of the past.
“It’s exciting to see this project come to fruition,” said Keith Hamilton, Chairman & President of the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame. “Being here in Reno provides us with the great opportunity of bringing the museum to the bowlers, instead of bowlers having to come to the museum.”
Upon completion, the Hall of Fame at the National Bowling Stadium will mirror its predecessor in Arlington, which features a kiosk, database platform including biographies, statistics, photos and videos of each of the nearly 500 Hall of Famers. The IBM/HF will also include a seven-foot tall, eight-foot wide public art installation of glazed ceramic, porcelain and glass, depicting a bowling ball and pin, created by Reno artist Eileen Gay.
Hall of Fame inductees who were on hand for the opening include Elaine Hagin, Betty Morris-Laub, Flora Mitchell and Reno locals, Pam Buckner and Betty Barnes.
The International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame is the first project made possible by joint efforts between and Reno City Council and the Nevada Legislature to finance capital projects to improve and maintain publicly owned facilities for tourism and entertainment. In its 2011 session, the Nevada Legislature passed NRS 268.798, which opened the door for the City of Reno to fund improvement projects at the National Bowling Stadium and other public facilities.
“This is the culmination of our state representatives working across the aisle in both houses to find a way for the City of Reno to better our community,” said RSCVA Chairman of the Board Dwight Dortch. “The International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame not only improves the National Bowling Stadium, but it also reinforces our commitment to the sport of bowling and shows participants how valued they are in Reno Tahoe USA.”   Many Nevada Legislators, including Assemblywoman Debbie Smith and Senator Don Gustavson, who both supported the legislation, were in attendance at the opening.  
The opening of the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame was held in conjunction with the opening day of the 2012 USBC Women’s Championships, being held at the National Bowling Stadium through July 8, 2012.  
The 2012 USBC Women’s Championships is the 93rd tournament in its history, and returns to Reno Tahoe for the seventh time. More than 6,100 teams of five women, from all 50 states, will compete in the nearly three-month long tournament, which is expected to bring more than 90,000 competitors, friends and family to the National Bowling Stadium. The prize fund for the 2012 Women’s Championships is expected to exceed $2 million. The RSCVA estimates the tournament will create a direct local economic impact of $52,507,000.  
The USBC Women’s Championships will return to Reno Tahoe USA in 2013, 2014 and 2015, marking an unprecedented run for the tournament in a single city. In 2013 and 2014, Reno Tahoe USA will also host the USBC Open Championships, which will also mark the first time those two events were held in the same city in a single year. The USBC Women’s Championships will be held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in 2013 and 2014, while the National Bowling stadium hosts the USBC Open Championships.

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