For many people, horseshoes is a game you might occasionally play during a summer picnic. But for Topeka, horseshoes could mean big business in a couple years. It's been named as the host city for the 2015 World Horseshoe Pitching Championship.
The tournament is expected to draw around 1,500 competitors to the area and create approximately $2 million in economic activity for hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Delegates at the recent world tournament selected Topeka by a razor-thin margin. Topeka beat out Charleston, W. Va., by one vote.
“Because of the facilities we have to offer, I know the people that come to this tournament are going to really, thoroughly enjoy it,” said Melvin Jeardoe with the Kansas Horsehoe Pitchers Association.
He helped convince people why they should choose Topeka. He says it’s centrally located in the U.S. and the Expocentre is a modern facility large enough to house the tournament. And, he says this area has some of the finest clay for horseshoe pits. That’s the material surrounding the stake where the horseshoes land.
"And if that clay is not in good condition, it will stick to your shoe, it makes it slimy, you can't hold the shoe," he said. "The clay that we've got is locally acquired blue clay, and it's really about the best clay you can get."
The tournament will take place in July 2015.