ELKHART – The best that the sport of bowling has to offer.
A great cause.
The two will come together in a big way next week.
The PBA 50 Tour will hold its National Championship event at Signature Lanes in Elkhart Aug. 14-17 with all proceeds from the event going to Riley’s Hospital for Children.
The tournament, which is expected to draw about 80 competitors, is slated to include some of the top names in the sport, including Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr., Parker Bohn III and Norm Duke. Pete Weber, the 2015 Player of the Year and son of legend Dick Weber, will not be able to compete due to a hip injury that has sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Roger Brown, who has owned the outstanding 32-lane Signature Lanes facility off of CR 17 since 2012, is anxious for the event.
“I’m very confident that we can make this a successful event,” said Brown, a native of Indianapolis. “I think that it is a great thing for our facility to host and for this area to host. Events like this do not happen here very often and we want to do our best to make it succeed for Riley’s, for the bowlers who will be participating and the fans who come out to watch.”
Brown said his facility hosts about 40 fundraising events a year. A national championship tournament of this magnitude is quite the undertaking though.
“We’ve been working on this 24-7 since about December,” said Brown. “The PBA has really embraced bringing the event here and they have just been top notch in preparing us and letting us know what to expect and what we need to do. We want people to see that not only is bowling a great recreational sport, but that it’s also a high level sport. These are some of the best bowlers in the World who will be here competing.”
The event will begin Aug. 14 with practice rounds in the morning from 9-12 and then Pro-Ams scheduled for 1, 3:30 and 6 p.m. The general public can bowl with the pros at 6 p.m. for $50 for league members and $75 for non-members.
The qualifying rounds will take place from 8-1:30 and from 3-8:30 on Aug. 15-16 with the cashiers round at 8:30 a.m., followed by match play rounds at noon and 3 p.m. and the stepladder finals at 7 p.m. on Aug. 17. There will also be carnival rides and live bands each night. The rides will go into operation on Aug. 13, along with a Bar-B-Q cooking contest that day. Tickets to the concert each night are $10 and there will be all-u-can-eat Bar-B-Q at 1 p.m. Aug. 13 following the contest.
There will also be a Silent Auction each day of the tournament with over 500 items up for bid, including Colts tickets.
Tickets to sit in the temporary grandstand seating that will be brought in for the tournament are $25 for Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Tickets for championship Wednesday are $50 each. The tickets are good for an all-day admission to the tournament.
Brown recently saw his facility receive a big-time upgrade last month. The big change in the renovation was the addition of new 50-inch flat screen scoring monitors. There were also upgrades to the pin-setting machines.
“The business leaders here have just been exceptional with their willingness to contribute,” said Brown of getting sponsors to make the tournament possible. “They have stepped up. The leaders of the city of Elkhart have also been great in their support.”
Brown hopes that with a successful showing in its first year that his facility can host the National Championship for the coming decade.
“It’s a wait-and-see attitude, but based on our performance as host this year, we would look to do this for 10 years,” Brown remarked. “I think that this is a great opportunity for Elkhart to be front and center on a national stage and show how well we can support something like this.”
For more information, contact Signature Lanes at (574) 296-1111.