On Saturday, Lafayette was awarded the bid to host the 2017 National Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament of the Champions. The event will take place at the Cajundome on May 1-6, 2017.

Longtime Lafayette boxing coach Beau Williford has been working, planning and politicking to get the tournament here in the Hub City for some 25 years now. And now his dream has come true.

"I've been politicking the franchise holders around the country and trying to get their support for a long time," Williford said. "It's very exciting. We felt good about our chances, but you never know how the vote is going to go."

The official bid was presented yesterday morning in Salt Lake City, Utah by Williford and Karen Primeaux of the Lafayette Convention Visitors Commission. After an hour and a half deliberation, the vote came back in a unanimous 31-0 decision for Lafayette.

"We thought we had it in 2012," Williford said. "Going into that vote in 2012, I would have bet you a million dollars to a doughnut hole that we were going to get it and we lost by one vote 16-15, so I didn't want to get too overconfident. But we did like our chances."

According to Williford, there were several key players who factored into helping Lafayette get the bid including the Louisiana Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Joey Durel's Lafayette Consolidated Government office, TownSquare Media and the Cajundome.

"Without the help of all of those people, we never would have been able to do it," Williford said. "Greg Davis and all the people at the Cajundome have been extremely helpful. They really wanted this event."

The economic impact will be significant. Over 300 boxers from all 50 states, as well as over 1,100 tournament officials and over 400 coaches will be expected to visit Lafayette for the week-long event.

More From 97.3 The Dawg