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Wausau Area Convention and Visitors Bureau hopes to make Badger State Games locally owned

The Wausau Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is trying to acquire the name and logo of the Badger Stage Games, and bring them back as a locally owned, central Wisconsin only event.

The Wausau Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is trying to acquire the name and logo of the Badger Stage Games, and bring them back as a locally owned, central Wisconsin only event.

Two years ago, Visitors Bureau Executive Director Darien Schaefer decided that Wausau would no longer be the host community for the Badger Games, because youth hockey and other sports had been moved to other parts of the state. Now, Schaefer is trying to acquire the name and logo from the Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation... which recently announced the end of the games as a statewide event.

"When you take a look at the history of Badger State Games, you have a recognized logo and name that have had a great reputation and there is value in that," he says. "Now we have an opportunity to make it a locally owned event."

Schaefer says he has talked to the Sports Development Corporation about acquiring the brand.

"We don't have a figure from the Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation yet. At one time we were spending $75,000 a year for the host fee," he said. "I think we're looking at a fraction of that amount."

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Schaefer says the restructured games would be run by a newly created Wausau based Sports Authority, funded with hotel room fees. Five of the six Wausau area communities are on board... and the biggest one, the city of Wausau, is expected to make a decision by the end of the month.

"Really after October 1st, I think we're really looking at a time concern regarding an event that's typically held in late January, the first part of February," he says. "You know, if we don't have all our ducks in a row in the next couple of weeks, I think that the issue is dead for next year."

Schaefer says he hopes the reorganized Badger State Games can be held as scheduled in the Wausau area next February.

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