Thousands of cheerleaders invade Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Thousands of cheerleaders invade Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WRCB) -- Chattanooga is being invaded by thousands and thousands of cheerleaders. One of the largest events booked throughout the year at the convention center is underway.

The competition is on, as cheerleaders from all across the country are duking it out in the Athletic Championships competition.

"Well, I don't think we realize the impact that it has on your city. I don't know, maybe it's just me. I don't think we realize, we realize how big it is for us. But I'm not sure we realize the impact that it has," says cheer mom, Apryl Molton.

Molton traveled with her daughter's cheer team from Arlington, Tennessee. Along with other teams, they are helping fill up the Staybridge Suites and other area hotels.

"I don't even know how many teams are here actually, but this is huge. This is really a big deal for us," she says.

"I think my favorite part is being in front of every body in the crowd, and just watching everybody," says cheerleader, Sydnee Thomas.

Crews are putting on the final touches, as they install a spring floor for Saturday's competition, while teams do some last minute practicing.

"We've actually had an event here for close to 14 years," says Cheryl Passalacqua.

Passalacqua is with Athletic Championships.

She says the central location of Chattanooga is ideal, while city officials say they are more than happy to host the competition.

CVB President Bob Doak says, "We are always excited to host the Athletic Championships, they are one of the largest conventions we hold in Chattanooga. This weekend we'll see over 14,000 people each day and they will leave an estimated economic impact of $5.04 million."

"They were really friendly from the beginning and they definitely roll out the red carpet for us when we come here to Chattanooga," says Passalacqua.

The event and all its festivities are expected to wrap up on Sunday.

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