Sunday, September 02, 2018

World Equestrian Games 2018: As venue scrambles to open, everything you need to know - Full Article

John Boyle, Asheville Citizen Times
Published 11:54 a.m. ET Sept. 1, 2018

MILL SPRING - In short, it is rock n' roll time at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.

In a little over a week, some 400,000 people, ranging from nearly a thousand world class equestrian competitors to spectators from around the world, will descend on this tiny community in Polk County for one of the biggest events in the horse world. The FEI World Equestrian Games open Sept. 11 and run through Sept. 23.

The games will also bring in another kind of visitor to Polk County. Emergency medical and public safety personnel from more than 20 counties in the western part of North Carolina will maintain safety and medical care at what essentially will become a small city every day.

Based on past economic impact of previous games, which are held every four years in the middle of the Olympics cycle, the games will have a $400 million impact on the region. Organizers at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, which is hosting the games, expect about 70 percent of spectators to come from the United States, about 30 percent from overseas.

It is undoubtedly the largest event to ever hit Polk County, and some officials have said it has a chance to become the biggest sporting event in the state's history.

With that in mind, the Citizen Times is taking a look at some key issues, in Q&A format.

Will TIEC be ready?
Employees and contractors at TIEC have been working around the clock to get the facilities and course constructed.

"It’s been a challenge but we’re going to make it," said Sharon Decker, chief operating officer at the Tryon International Equestrian Center...

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