As the area's sports tourism industry enters its busiest time of year, Mankato Sports Commission launches a new grant program to bring new events to the area.

It's part of the restructuring of an existing grant program.

A total of $6,000 is available through the grant designed for new sporting events during the slower winter and spring months.

Existing events looking at significant changes can also apply.

An event can receive a maximum of $2,000, with a key goal of increasing hotel bookings and providing a draw to the region.

Sports Commission Director Chris Willaert said, "An event based on a certain number of rooms nights can get a thousand dollars, up to $2,000, and when you start looking at budgets and things like that on new tournaments or events, obviously a thousand, 2,000 that can start to go a long way in getting that event off the ground in that first year."

The grant is renewable up to three years, with an evaluation.

The Sports Commission is also looking at ways they can put more money towards grants like this to bring new attractions to the area.

--KEYC News 12