Roughly 3,000 junior and high school students, parents, coaches and spectators are expected to visit Springfield next year as part of a national speech and debate tournament.
Drury University will play host to the 2016 National Invitational Tournament of Champions May 20-28, 2016.
The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Wednesday that the city was selected by Stoa, a speech and debate organization for Christian homeschooling families.
The annual tournament rotates among different cities throughout the country.
Springfield is home to the National Christian Homeschool basketball tournament, its largest annual group event that brings in some 8,000 people. In a statement, Stoa President Elect Mark Russell said Springfield is a natural fit for the speech and debate tournament.
“Drury is extremely pleased to play host to the 2016 Stoa national tournament,” said Rob Fridge, Drury’s chief financial officer. “We’re excited to help bring this group of high-achieving students and their families to Springfield, and we expect nearly every room on our campus to be bustling with activity over the course of eight days next spring.”
Springfield also hosts the National Christian Homeschool Spring Basketball Nationals, Fall Basketball Nationals, Fall Volleyball Nationals and Fall Tip-Off Basketball Tournament.