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Manteca 2011 Senior Games May 14-21
Pickle ball player Ken Engle was among the competitors in the 2010 Manteca Senior Games. - photo by Bulletin file photo


• WHAT: 2011 Manteca Senior Games
• WHEN: May 4-21
• MORE INFO: Call the Visitors Center at 823-7229

As many as 1,000 athletes are expected to descend on Manteca for the 2011 Senior Games taking place May 14-21.

New events being added this year include volleyball, archery, soccer, swimming, and road bicycle racing.

It is the third year that the Manteca Visitors Center has hosted the games. They doubled in size last year to nearly 500 athletes.

Continuing events are softball, tennis, track and field, basketball, martial arts, pickleball as well as BMX racing.

The Visitors Center is currently searching for volunteers, officials, chairpersons, and sponsors for the week-long event that will take place at various venues in Manteca.

The Manteca Senior Games are open to those 50 years of age and older.

The 2010 Games attracted 500 athletes plus their spouses to pump at least $300,000 into the Manteca economy based on room bookings tracked by the Visitors Center as well as calculations on what was spent per person on food and other expenses during their stay.

The state tourism board estimates a typical participant or spectator at such an event as the Senior Games spends $100 a day plus motel room costs. Linda Abeldt, executive director for the Visitors Center, noted last year that many participants said they spent money at Bass Pro Shops.

Only a handful of the participants were from within easy driving distance of Manteca due to the scarcity of such competitions in the north state.  Many were from out of state including Arizona and Utah. Almost all other California Senior Games venues are in the south state - San Diego, Anaheim, Palm Desert and Pasadena.

It is a breakeven venture for the CVB. The reason for staging it is to draw visitors – and their money – to Manteca.

The potential of the Games are reflected in the fact the Nationals at Stanford in 2009 drew more than 10,000 athletes registered.