While public funding for sports venues is increasingly rare, United States Bowling Congress executive director Stu Upson called Reno's multi-million dollar improvements to the National Bowling Center "an historic accomplishment."

"For a city to invest millions of dollars to completely renovate and upgrade a stadium is an historic accomplishment," Upson said in a bowl.com press release.

Reno agreed to use a new hotel room tax to fund up to $15 million in upgrades to modernize the city's National Bowling Stadium. As part of the deal, extend the USBC's use of the facility through 2030.

The deal requires the Congress to host at least 10 championship tournaments in Reno between 2019 and 2030.

Already, improvements are being made to the stadium's interior, including a hall of fame and museum on the first floor of the business.

Other planned improvements include: squad room renovation and expansion; replacement of the 78 primary competition lanes; new sports bar and restaurant; adjustment of existing stadium seating and replacement with flexible space for exhibits and/or vendors; new restaurant; and exterior renovations by 2018.

It's flexible scheduling was "a key part of the agreement," Upson said.

"USBC does not plan to schedule the Open or Women's Championships in the same city in back-to-back years after 2015," Upson said.

The 2015 Open Championships will be held in El Paso, but the 2017 and 2018 Opens are still out for bid, Upson explained.

"We are also in talks with other destination cities about multi-year agreements for future championships," Upson finished.

Reportedly, one such interested location is Las Vegas, which involved construction of a bowling stadium at the city's South Point resort. Neither USBC nor South Point officials would comment on that rumor.

Upgrading the National Bowling Stadium would make a great facility even greater. I enjoy bowling at the stadium, but I don't want to go there every year. With the possibility of Orlando being a future stop and possibly Las Vegas, or Dallas/Fort Worth, it could increase the number of bowlers participating.

The USBC Open Championships are continuing in Baton Rouge, La. and the scores are nothing to brag about. Our local bowlers are finding the lane conditions tougher than anything they are used to. Looking at the scores at www.bowl.com, some of our top bowlers have rolled very few 200 games, or 600 series.

Are the conditions at Baton Rouge that tough, or are our local conditions that easy?

Each year, the Greater Killeen Fort Hood USBC Association and bowling community publishes a yearbook with the averages of our approximately 2,500 local bowlers, plus additional information pertaining to association activities. They rely on advertising to help fund their scholarship program, which benefits students at all area high schools. Cost for ads are: 1 full page, $65; half page, $35; quarter page, $20; and 1/8 page, $15.

All ads and money are due by July 1.

The upcoming PBA Southwest Region Killeen Chameleon Open hosted by Hallmark Lanes will have an oil pattern that is 39 feet long and utilizes a "retro" approach to pattern design.

Instead of smoothing out the oil on the lane, increased volumes are placed in "zones" encouraging players to choose a specific area of the lane to play. This is a multiple-angles pattern that allows the bowler to choose what part of the lane best suites their particular game.

The new regional animal pattern series will provide players an opportunity to win paid entries into the 2012 PBA World Series of Bowling. At each designated PBA Regional Animal Pattern Championship, players can pay an optional $50 entry fee to compete for a paid entry into the World Series. Additional entries may be awarded based on the number of entries in each regional animal event.

In addition, the bowler in each of the PBA's seven regions who compiles the highest competition points total for the four animal pattern events will also earn a paid entry into the WSOB. No additional entry fee is required to become eligible for the entries based on the four-event qualifying program.

The Killeen Open begins Aug. 10 and concludes Aug.12.

See you on the lanes.

Contact Don Wright at wrightdk@hot.rr.com

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