The first annual Buffalo Bill Brawl Amateur Boxing Tournament will be held in North Platte this weekend, Aug. 1-2, at the D&N Event Center.
Hundreds of boxers, ages 8-78, will appear in North Platte from Friday, July 31 to Sunday, Aug. 2 to compete for the first Buffalo Bill Brawl title.
Sports Marketing and Events Specialist Samantha Geisler with the North Platte Area Sports Commission and the North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau has been planning this event for more than a year and a half.
“With this being the first event since USA Boxing shut down all of their gyms due to Covid-19, it will put a huge spotlight on North Platte,” Geisler said. “If we can get this event in the books and get it done safely, more boxers and gyms will look at competing in this North Platte event in years to come.”
The Buffalo Bill Brawl was originally scheduled to be a national tournament, with anticipation of more than 400 athletes, but has now been converted to more of a Midwest regional tournament, limiting attendance to approximately 100-150 boxers from nearby states and cities that are similar in health directives as Nebraska.
“The attendance is now mainly Midwest. More than 50% of our registrations are still from out of state, so it will still bring in some much-needed tourism revenue to central Nebraska,” Geisler said.
The Buffalo Bill Brawl is the first and largest boxing tournament of its kind in Nebraska, but it is going to look a lot different, “mainly because of social distancing, mask requirements, health screenings and temperature checks, all required through USA Boxings Back to Boxing guidelines, and designed to keep athletes, officials, and spectators safe,” Geisler said.
Organizers have also been working closely with the West Central District Health Department to ensure that a safe event takes place.
Although the event will not draw as many athletes and spectators as initially anticipated, the North Platte Area Sports Commission still estimates that this 3-day event will have an economic impact of more than $200,000 to the community through lodging, retail, food, and beverage purchases. The sports commission developed this estimate by using the Event Impact Calculator developed by Destinations International provided by membership in the national organization Sports ETA: Sports Events and Tourism Association.
Spectators are welcome. Tickets are $20 for general admission or $30 for a two-day tournament pass and can be purchased online on Eventbrite or at playnorthplatte.com/bbbrawl.
“We are encouraging no-contact ticket purchasing through our online ticketing; however, we will sell limited tickets at the door,” Geisler said.
Masks are required in the venue and a temperature check and health screening questionnaire will be required by everyone upon entering the facility.
Session times are expected to be Saturday from noon–4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., with championship bouts to be held from noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, check out Buffalo Bill Brawl or Play North Platte on Facebook or playnorthplatte.com/bbbrawl.
These events are sponsored in part by the North Platte Area sports commission, a division of the North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau, and the Nebraska Local Boxing Committee.