by Jeff Taylor
This week’s big Uptown world-class event is the U.S. Open Table Tennis Championship at the Charlotte Convention Center. How do we know it is world-class? Because Ft. Lauderdale often hosted the event until Visit Charlotte — the convention center’s marketing arm — swooped in and grabbed the event for Charlotte. With the help of an unknown amount of “sponsorship” money, i.e., a subsidy from the hotel-motel tax.
The event has drawn about 750 competitors in recent years, although the early tally for Charlotte is only for “more than 500.” That might have something to do with the fact that prize money in Charlotte seems well down from the $100,000 total offered last year in Florida. The men’s singles champ, for example, will get $2800 this year, down from $17,000 last year.
C’mon Charlotte! Can’t we throw some property tax money in the kitty?