COOKEVILLE – Don Viar was recently named chair of the steering committee in charge of coordinating the BlueCross Bowl, the division I and II Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) state football championships that have taken place in Cookeville since 2009. The championship games will be held at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium, December 3-5.
Viar, managing partner at Epic Technologies, will chair the committee for the next two years. He is no stranger to BlueCross Bowl involvement, having served as a team ambassador from 2010 to 2014, chair of the Visitor Relations Committee in 2012-2013 and as vice chair in 2014.
“Don has seen the BlueCross Bowl from every angle and understands the careful planning and teamwork required to ensure the championship event runs smoothly,” Phillip Baker, past steering committee chairman said. “These games wouldn’t be possible without our army of volunteers, and Don knows how to lead and coordinate all the moving parts.”
Viar has a strong background in civil service, serving in leadership roles with various organizations including Boy Scouts of America, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Citizen Strategic Advisory Board, Tennessee Tech’s Management Systems Advisory Board, and others, as well as serving in many roles at the chamber since 2005.
“It is such an honor to be able to chair the steering committee for this year’s BlueCross Bowl and continue the great work of past committees led by men like Ottis Phillips, Chuck Sparks and Phillip Baker,” said Viar. “These games have come to mean so much to our community in a relatively short amount of time. How many other communities can call themselves the ‘Football Capital of Tennessee’? The volunteers who step forward to lead and serve every year help brand us across the state for having friendly service, great accommodations and outstanding facilities.”
That same commitment to upholding the standards set by previous events helped shape Viar’s expectations for the next two years. His goal for 2015 is to reach new records in both attendance and revenue generated in order to continue to enhance the fan and player experience in positive directions.
Without a doubt, the TSSAA BlueCross Bowl is one of the largest events held in Cookeville and Putnam County anually. 16 teams in 8 games over 3 days, 700+ volunteers, and countless hours of planning and preparation go into the event.
Zach Ledbetter, manager of the Cookeville-Putnam County Convention & Visitors Bureau said, “We strive to provide the highest quality visitor experience to every individual who visits throughout the year and this event has helped us learn about raising the bar in visitor relations for larger audiences. These championship games continue to be a great economic success for our community as well. We’re seeing an estimated $2.5 million economic impact from visitor spending over the three day span. The BlueCross Bowl definitely provides assistance to the $117.9 million of direct tourism expenditures Putnam County received in 2014.”
The TSSAA BlueCross Bowl in Cookeville is a combined effort between the City of Cookeville, Putnam County, the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Tennessee Tech University.
If you or your organization would like more information on how to get involved with this event, please contact the Chamber at (931) 526-2211, or email Zach Ledbetter at ZLedbetter@VisitCookevilleTN.com