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Casper agrees to provide ‘Proud to Host the Best’ with $50K in taxpayer dollars per year for four years

KW's Peyton Carruth smashes down on the Fillies' Alesha Lane during the semi-final of the 2021 4A volleyball state championship (Gregory Hirst, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution that commits the city to provide $50,000 per year over the next four years to “Proud to Host the Best.”

Proud to Host the Best is a nonprofit that works to help ensure Casper can host statewide high school sports tournaments. Visit Casper CEO and Natrona County Commissioner Brook Kaufman approached the city council in January on behalf of Proud to Host the Best, asking that the city contribute funding to help establish a more sustainable funding model for the Proud to Host the Best Committee.

The city is not the only entity that has been asked to support Proud to Host the Best. The Natrona County Recreation Joint Powers Board has also agreed to grant Proud to Host the Best $50,000, Natrona County School District Board of Trustees Chair Ray Catellier said in October.

When Kaufman spoke with the city council in January, she said that Visit Casper had also committed to increase their funding level from $30,000 a year to $50,000 a year to help establish a more sustainable funding model for the Proud to Host the Best Committee. Kaufman added that the Economic Development Joint Powers Board had likewise raised their commitment from $30,000 a year to $50,000.

She told the council that the Proud to Host the Best Committee works to raise $180,000-$200,000 per year toward hosting the high school sports tournaments in Casper. About $150,000 is paid to the Ford Wyoming Center (formerly the Casper Events Center) to cover meals and operations (use of the facility and other in-kind services are waived by the city). The rest is allocated to other outdoor event expenses. There are no staff positions within the committee or other compensations made to the committee members.

During her presentation to the city council, Kaufman said that hosting the state tournaments generates about $13.9 million per year for the area as people travel to Casper and spend money on food, lodging and other amenities.