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25th Annual American Century Championship in Full Swing

The #1 celebrity sporting event in America returns to Lake Tahoe for its 25th year. July 15-20, 2014, over 80 sports and entertainment celebrities will compete at Edgewood Tahoe Gold Course for $125,000 of the 600,000 purse.

Celeb sightings will be of plenty, including these athletes and entertainers:

Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
World Champion Miami Heat guard Ray Allen
Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller
Comedian Larry the Cable Guy
Current Kansas City Chiefs and former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith
NFL Hall of Famers Steve Young, Jerry Rice and John Elway
Former NY Yankees catcher Jorge Posada

NFL participants include Hall of Fame running backs Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen, Marshall Faulk; former All-Pros Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, John Lynch; and current starts Jared Allen of the Chicago Bears, Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski.

The NBA will be represented by five-time NBA champion and coveted coaching candidate Steve Kerr, Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd and former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. Hockey checks in with All-Star goalie Martin Brodeur, Joe Sakic, Hall of Famer and $1 million 2011 tournament hole-in-one winner; former NHL All-Star center Jeremy Roenick, and 1980 Olympic Gold Medal winner and team captain Mike Eruzione.

Major League Baseball greats to appear include Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Ozzie Smith; future HOF third baseman Chipper Jones; former All-Stars Vince Coleman, Kenny Lofton, Fred McGriff, David Justice, Tino Martinez and Kevin Millar; pitchers Tim Wakefield, Bret Saberhagen and Derek Lowe.

Elway, Wagner, Eruzione and Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon return as the four who’ve played all 25 years.

celeb golf Aerial2

NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network will televise the tournament live as follows:

- Friday, July 18: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PT (live) on NBC Sports Network

- Saturday, July 19: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET, noon to 3 p.m. PT (live) on NBC.

- Sunday, July 20: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET, noon to 3 p.m. PT (live) on NBC.

Tournament scoring is based on a modified Stableford format with 10 points for a double eagle, 8 for a hole-in-one, 6 for eagle, 3 for birdie, 1 for par, 0 for bogey, and minus 2 for double-bogey or higher. The 54-hole tournament has been played at Edgewood Tahoe’s 6,707-yard lakeside course since its inception in 1990. Inaugural American Century Championship winner Mark Rypien, a two-time NFL pro quarterback, will return to Edgewood Tahoe for the 25th anniversary with hopes of repeating his victory. Other returning champions include Hollywood actor Jack Wagner, a two-time American Century Championship winner, and eight-time winner Rick Rhoden.

Season Passes and daily tickets are currently available online at and Season passes are $50 through May 31; beginning June 1, it’s $60. Tickets are $15 each day for the Lake Tahoe Celebrity-Amateur on Tuesday, July 16; practice round on Wednesday, July 17; and the American Century Celebrity-Am on Thursday, July 18; and $25 for each tournament round, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Kids 10 and under receive free admission – limit two — when accompanied by a paying adult.

Discounted Daily Tickets will be available beginning June 1 at 127 Raley’s, Bel Air or Nob Hill Foods locations throughout Northern California and Nevada. Tickets are $12 (regularly $15) for access Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and $22 (regularly $25) for Friday, Saturday and Sunday tournament action or $18 with a grocery purchase of $50 or more for up to four tickets.

The tournament is also offering complimentary tickets for all military. All active duty, reservists, National Guard and veterans can receive two complimentary tickets, including one for a guest each day of the tournament. All service men and women who would like to attend must apply at to redeem the special offer. At the events, participants must show photo ID along with the ticket voucher at tournament gates to receive the complimentary ticket(s).

It’s messy, it’s painful and it’s a ball!

PaintballsI really should’ve taken a picture of the small, perfectly round welt that formed on my wrist. Aside from this blog and the video, it was the only physical evidence of my presence at the Reno Indoor Paintball, Inc. (RIP) studios.

RIP President Lawrence “Larry” Kagawa became a paintball enthusiast in the Army. In his 21-year military career, he experimented with non-lethal military training that involved both laser tag and paintball. He fell in love with the spirit and professional aspect of the sport, and decided to test his entrepreneurial side in Reno, Nevada two years ago.

“Paintball is an extreme sport with the teamwork of a traditional sport,” Kagawa said.

Reno Indoor Paintball, Inc. is the only indoor paintball facility in all of Northern Nevada. Players are as young as 10 and as old as 72.

“He comes all the way from Fallon to train and really gets into it,” Kagawa said of his oldest player.

DSC_0003It hosts tournaments, coaching clinics and is home to the national champs, NV Reign. The squad currently holds the national title for the National Professional Paintball League, and in two weeks the team is headed to Washington D.C. to see if they can retain that honor. Talk about bragging rights. (No pressure. You’re only representing the state of Nevada.)

And that’s not all. Reno Indoor Paintball, Inc. is proud to announce that the Regional Paintball League (RPL) will be visiting Reno July 24 and 25. It’s the first paintball tournament in Reno history! Teams will travel to Reno from San Diego, Oregon, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. The ultimate goal of RIP is to entice the National Professional Paintball League to host its annual tournament in the Biggest Little City.

Immediately following this history-making event, Reno Indoor Paintball, Inc. is supporting the Western States Police and Fire Games.

To learn more RIP or what it takes to be a paintball player, check out the video! Listen closely. You can hear when I get pelted.

US Bowling Congress Selects Reno to host the USBC Women’s Championships

 US Bowling Congress Selects Reno to host the USBC Women’s Championships in 2013 and 2014

The additional event bookings will generate 190,000 room nights in Reno Tahoe USA. 

USBC Queens 2The LA Times didn’t call it the “Taj Mahal of Tenpins” for nothing. While most cities have a bowling alley, Reno Tahoe USA has an entire stadium dedicated to the sport, and it’s the one-of-a-kind facility and community spirit that has enticed the U.S. Bowling Congress to return year after year.

The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) announced Tuesday that Reno has been selected to host the Women’s Championships in 2013 and both the USBC Open Championships and Women’s Championships in 2013 and 2014. This marks the first time in USBC history that both events will take place simultaneously in the same city.

“We are extremely pleased to have been selected as the host city for the 2013 and 2014 USBC Open Championships and Women’s Championships,” said Ellen Oppenheim, RSCVA President and CEO. “We are equally thrilled to continue to build our long-time partnership with the prestigious events. We are looking forward to welcoming participants of the USBC and their families to our destination for several more years to come.”

Approximately 85,000 bowlers from across the United States and several foreign countries including England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Bermuda, Canada, Bahamas and France participate in the Open Championships. Additionally, more than 45,000 guests will visit Reno Tahoe for each tournament. The economic impact for both the additional Open Championships and Women’s Championships in 2013 and 2014 is projected to be $242 million in direct local spending.

“The positive impact of winning this piece of business in 2013 and 2014 will be felt by all of the hotels, restaurants, attractions, and shops in the destination,” said Oppenheim. “It also brings Reno Tahoe the opportunity to continue to host one of the largest events in the country. This agreement demonstrates that the National Bowling Stadium is a first rate venue and bowlers enjoy coming to Reno Tahoe.”

The USBC Open Championship will be held inside the one-of-a-kind bowling stadium with simultaneous competition for the Women’s Championships inside the Reno-Sparks Convention Center (RSCC). The last time the RSCC was used for a bowling event was in 1990.

Reno is writing a new page of USBC history in becoming the first city to ever host consecutive tournaments. During previous Open Championships in Reno, 106,916 teams (representing more than 535,000 participants) have competed for more than $30 million in prize money. The Open Championships or Women’s Championships have been held at the National Bowling Stadium 11 times in the past 15 years and are scheduled to return seven  more times.

Sometimes a bowler just has to face the music. Why not do it in the National Bowling Stadium?


About United States Bowling Congress:

The United States Bowling Congress, as the national governing body, ensures the integrity and protects the future of the sport, provides programs and services to nearly 2.5 million adult and youth members and enhances the bowling experience.


About the RSCVA:

The RSCVA is the primary tourism agency supporting convention and tourism business for the Reno Tahoe region.  Reno Tahoe supports unlimited possibilities from outdoor recreation to 24-hour Nevada style gaming and entertainment.  For more information about Reno-Tahoe call 800-FOR-RENO (800-367-7366) or visit

Reno Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary of Historic Boxing Match

BE053704Exactly one hundred years ago on this July 4, the whole world was watching Reno, Nevada, in perhaps one of the most important events in American Boxing History. 20-thousand boxing fans from around the world poured into Reno to witness the “Battle of the Century”. (That was 5-thousand more people than Reno’s population at the time!) It was a match up between Jim Jeffries and Jack Johnson, the first African American to hold the World Heavyweight Championship. Johnson was an intimidating boxer and was considered a pariah amongst white America because of his refusal to live his life according to the bigoted social norms prevalent during 1910.

Jeffries, the former champion who had retired undefeated three years earlier, never having agreed to face Johnson – had come out of retirement as the “Great White Hope” to take back the heavyweight championship for the white race.

A fight anticipated like no other, before or since, the Johnson-Jeffries match is still cited as one of the most important sporting events of all time.

The fight, which was promoted and refereed by legendary boxing promoter Tex Rickard, was originally scheduled to take place in San Francisco; however, one year before the fight was scheduled to take place, California Governor James Gillette withdrew his support for the fight, making Rickard scramble to find another venue to host the event.

At the time, Nevada was the state most friendly to boxing, and Reno was conveniently located on the railroad, allowing for thousands of fans to be brought in easily from both coasts. A ring, with seating for 20,000, was built in downtown Reno for the event.

Johnson defeated Jeffries in 15 rounds to retain his heavyweight crown on the custom-made boxing ring in downtown Reno. The 1910 victory sparked race riots across the nation, and changed boxing forever. Until Johnson took the heavyweight crown, boxing had never let a black boxer compete for the heavyweight title.

And now, exactly 100 years later, the city of Reno will honor the legacy of this most famous of fights with a three-day celebration, July 2-4, 2010, featuring boxing celebrities, family members of those involved in the original fight, as well as live professional boxing at the Grand Sierra Resort, which will be aired by Fox Sports Net.

The list of professional boxers includes Reno native and super middleweight Joey Gilbert (19-2, 15 KOs), former Jr. flyweight champion Ulises Solís (30-2, 21 KOs) and undefeated up-and-coming middleweight Brandon “Flawless” Gonzales (12-0, 9 Kos).

“We’re very excited that family members representing all four of the principle parties involved in making the original fight happen – Jack Johnson, Jim Jeffries, promoter Tex Rickard and acting Governor Denver Dickerson – will be able to attend the 100-year anniversary celebration,” said Terry Lane of Let’s Get It On Promotions, which is helping organize the celebration.

Visitors to the 100-year anniversary celebration will have the opportunity to tour the original fight site as well as the locations of both Johnson’s and Jeffries’ pre-fight training camps.

Dates, times and more details about these and other events planned for the Johnson-Jeffries 100-year anniversary celebration can be found online, along with more history of the original fight and information about lodging packages available for the weekend.

Positively in the Playoffs: Reno Bighorns hit the big time

Candace Spiers handles travel arrangements for the Reno BighornsI think I know what Jack Nicholson feels like when he sits court-side at a Laker’s game.  Easter Sunday we had front row seats as the Reno Bighorns beat the Tulsa 66ers 105 to 88 at home.   Several times I thought a player might land in our lap; we were that close!

An exciting game, but the best part was sitting next to Candace Spiers and her husband Ken Fernandes.  Candace handles the travel arrangements for the Reno Bighorns and the Reno Aces.  With the Bighorns in the playoffs, and the Aces starting their season this week, she has her hands full.  I asked her what it was like being a travel agent for a professional basketball team.  “It’s the most fun I’ve had in the travel business in years,” she said.  She often finds herself at the airport, helping the players check in and getting boarding passes.  She loves the job, but says it’s the players that make it special.  “They’re not your typical celebrity types, they’re all so easy going,” she explains.

This Thursday the Reno Aces play their season opener against the Fresno Grizzlies, and Saturday, the Reno Bighorns play their first-ever playoff game when they take on Rio Grande Valley.  The season overlap will have Candace scrambling.  “Let’s just say I’m not going to have a whole lot of sleep, and neither is anyone who works for the Reno Aces or the Bighorns!”

Candace says she’s very proud of the teams and the way they bring people together in Northern Nevada.   And she’s looking forward to Thursday’s  Aces game, and Saturday’s Bighorns game.  An added bonus:  both teams are playing at home.

Photos: What do the PGA and a Mariachi band have in common?


Answer: The same as great golfers, wildlife, great scenery, cardivascular exercise, a kids party zone, awesome food and drinks and of course the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.

Take a look at these photos and see what you are missing if you don’t get out to the Montreux Golf Course and see this great event for yourself.

Legends Reno-Tahoe Open
Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course, Montrêux Golf & Country Club
August 3 – 9, 2009

Two things that go well together: Ice cream and golf

tahoecreamerylogoA partnership between the Legends at Sparks Marina Reno-Tahoe Open and Tahoe Creamery is bringing together two favorite summer pastimes – ice cream and golf.

With the purchase of a pint of Tahoe Creamery coffee or chocolate ice cream (with the tournament logo), earn a $5 discount on tourney tickets. The PGA TOUR stop comes to Montreux Golf and Country Club Aug. 3-9, bringing some of the biggest names in golf as they compete for $3 million in purse money and a chance to earn valuable FedExCup points.

Read the Reno Gazette-Journal story and learn more about the tournament online.

WAC basketball: Get your WAC Three-Pack

logo1The Western Athletic Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournament starts next week (March 10-14), so it’s time to get your tickets.

In addition to single-game and full-session passes, the tournament is offering a WAC Three-Pack so attendees will receive the same seat for the men’s quarterfinals (afternoon or evening session), semifinals and championship.

Fans who purchase the Three-Pack get a discount of $10 to $15 depending on whether they are attending women’s or men’s games.

To purchase a WAC Three-Pack or tickets to any of the WAC tournament games, call the Lawlor Events Center Ticket Office at (775)348-7225 or visit online at

Pep rally: Get pumped for the WAC basketball tourney

logo1The Western Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s basketball tournament is coming to the University of Nevada and we’re getting ready with a hometown celebration for Wolf Pack fans.

A pep rally sponsored by Best Buy and Scheels will be held at the Legends at Sparks Marina destination retail center March 1, 11 a.m. to noon. The Nevada Wolf Pack men’s and women’s coaches, cheerleaders, dance squad, band, and mascots will be on hand to celebrate. The rally will also be the first opportunity for fans have to purchase single-session tickets and obtain the best seats available for the tournament being held March 10-14 at Lawlor Events Center.

The WAC tourney champions get an automatic bid to the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments, so come out and support the teams – and bring the kids along to meet their heroes!

  • WHERE:
    In front of the new Best Buy located at the Legend’s at Sparks Marina. Take the Sparks Boulevard exit off Interstate 80 and had north to the first light. Take a left and follow the signs to Scheels and Best Buy.
  • WHEN:
    Sunday, March 1 from 11 a.m.-noon

For more information on the tournament, visit the WAC tournament page online.

Western Athletic Conference basketball tourney coming to Reno

logo1Join the excitement and support your team in Reno-Tahoe during the 2009 Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament March 10-14. The University of Nevada, Reno is host school this year to one of the most exciting college basketball tournaments in the country. Each WAC school is assigned a sponsor hotel, so the team and fans can stay together and play together …

While you’re here, enjoy all that Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe has to offer with Nevada-style gaming, entertainment and nightlife. During the day, downtown Reno is a shoppers’ paradise, complete with boutiques, a Riverwalk district along the Truckee River and tons of tourism distractions. Or hit up the campus at UNR to get the feel of one of the West’s historic educational institutions.

Springtime in Reno-Tahoe is a nature lovers delight – it is a walkable city that boasts consistent sun and mild temperatures, and features miles of trails as well as must-see destinations such as Lake Tahoe and Virginia City, all within an hour drive. Springtime in the Reno-Tahoe outdoors offers the chance to golf and ski – even in the same day! Check out all that Reno-Tahoe has to offer and plan your trip online at We’ll see you at tourney.

Getting to Reno-Tahoe is easy:

  • From Boise, Idaho:
    For those who choose to drive, Boise is approximately 7 hours door-to-door from to Reno, taking Highway 95 south before merging with Interstate 80 West in Winnemucca, Nev. From 80, take to the Downtown Reno exit. From here the Peppermill Hotel Casino is located within a 10-minute drive.
    Several carriers offer one-stop service from Boise Airport to Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
  • From Hawaii:
    Reno-Tahoe International Airport offers flight service to most major markets, and one-stop service from Honolulu.
    From the airport, the Eldorado Hotel Casino is a short 10-minute shuttle ride, and conveniently located within the downtown Reno casino corridor.
  • From Fresno, Calif.
    For those who choose to make the drive to Reno-Tahoe, the trip from Fresno takes approximately four hours. Take California’s Highway 99 north to Sacramento and merge with Interstate 80 East. Travel over the crest of the Sierra Nevada and cross the state line before dropping into Reno. From 80, take to the Downtown Reno exit. The Silver Legacy Resort Casino is located within the downtown Reno casino corridor.
  • From Moscow, Idaho:
    Direct and one-stop flights are available to Reno-Tahoe International Airport from Spokane International Airport.
    From the airport, the Eldorado Hotel Casino is a short 10-minute shuttle ride, and conveniently located within the downtown Reno casino corridor.
  • From Ruston, La.:
    One-stop flights are available to Reno-Tahoe International Airport from Shreveport Regional Airport.
    From the airport, the Eldorado Hotel Casino is a short 10-minute shuttle ride, and conveniently located within the downtown Reno casino corridor.
  • From Las Cruces, N.M.:
    One-stop flights are available to Reno-Tahoe International Airport from El Paso International Airport in El Paso, Texas.
    From the airport, the Peppermill Hotel Casino Resort is a short 10-minute shuttle ride, and conveniently located near area attractions.
  • From San Jose, Calif.:
    For those who choose to drive, San Jose is approximately 4 hours door-to-door from to Reno, taking Interstate 680 north before merging with Interstate 80 East.
    From 80, take to the Downtown Reno exit. From here the Peppermill Hotel Casino is within a 10-minute drive.
    Daily direct flights from San Jose International Airport to Reno-Tahoe International Airport are also available.
  • From Logan, Utah:
    For those who choose to drive, Logan, Utah is approximately 6 hours door-to-door to Reno, taking Interstate 15 south before merging with Interstate 80 west in Salt Lake City.
    From 80, take to the Downtown Reno exit. From here the Peppermill Hotel Casino is within a 10-minute drive.
    Direct flights from Salt Lake International Airport to Reno-Tahoe International Airport are also available.

More information:


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