More than 3,500 athletes and spectators are expected in northwest Indiana this weekend for two large events. The South Shore Convention and Visitors Association says the events in Valparaiso and Hammond could bring a large economic impact to the area.

The 71st annual National Lutheran Basketball Tournament will take place Friday through Sunday at Valparaiso University. More than 60 middle school boys and girls teams, along with more than 2,500 visitors, are expected for the tournament, which has been held at the campus since the early 1970s. 

More than 1,000 contestants, coaches and family members will also gather in Hammond tomorrow for the 48th annual Scholastic Chess of Indiana State Team Championships.

"Thousands of families will be experiencing the South Shore this weekend; eating in our restaurants and looking for things to do between their games," said Speros Batistatos, chief executive officer of the South Shore CVA. "We want to make sure our local businesses are prepared for additional customers."

The organization says last weekend’s Millennium Soccer Turf Classic in Crown Point and the YMCA Swimming Championships at Lake Central High school both brought an estimated $55,000 in economic impact to the region.

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