Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo (Sentinel photo by John Clifford)
Izzo marks World Series weekend kick off to busy summer schedule
The World Series of Bocce is not just about the competition at the Toccolana Club. To Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo, it’s an annual opportunity for Rome to show itself off to the many people who will come to the city for the event.
Izzo will be at the club at 1412 E. Dominick St. for opening ceremonies at the 44th annual event Friday, then again that night “observing and having a good time like everybody else.”
The event is a part of a much larger series of weekends in Rome this summer. “It begins a series of activities for the next three weeks,” Izzo noted. “We go from the World Series to the bicentennial of the Erie Canal into the traditional Honor America Days celebration then Canal Fest then Drums Along the Mohawk. We’ve got a busy month, a lot of events in Rome that will draw from all over the county and even generate regional and state interest.”
Izzo called the World Series “extremely important” as a tool for both immediate economic impact and economic development.
“The World Series has become a very talked about event well outside our area. That’s great because it’s good for our tourism industry. We get to show off our city,” especially in the area along Dominick Street and the Club. Thousands come here, not just players, she noted.
“Those who come spend money in Rome’s hotels, restaurants and stores, they get out and away from the venue to go visit places like Fort Stanwix National Monument.”
When she was an employee at the Quality Inn, those from out-of-town for bocce would ask about attractions, including Turning Stone. “They really do travel around the area while they’re here.”
“My first concern with feedback is that the people who are running the event are positive and their needs are being met,” said Izzo, saying that was the case last year.
“As far as what I observed, many people approached me and one of the prevailing opinions was how impressed they were about the appearance of the city.” including the trail system.
Izzo is herself only a casual player, and does not play in the World Series of Bocce.
This event, with its Open Division and Ladies Division, and over $30,000 in prizes, is not where she wants to make her competitive debut, she noted.