Local lodging revenue, room sales, and hotel jobs in Pittsburg were up in 2017, with the Robert W. Plaster Center getting some of the credit.

The $13 million, 154,000-square-foot center, completed in Spring 2015 as a joint venture between the City of Pittsburg, Crawford County, and PSU, includes a 100-yard turf field and one of only six university-owned 300-meter tracks in the nation. It seats 1,500.

“We knew it would be a popular facility,” said Jim Johnson, director of intercollegiate athletics. “But it’s been even more popular than we imagined. When you pair it with the incredible facility we have in the Bicknell Center, it really sets us apart.”

Devin Gorman, executive director of the Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau, agrees that the facility has put Pittsburg and Crawford County on the national radar for sporting events that result in tens of thousands of visitors to the area, and has been an incredible economic boon.

Hotel managers say they have noticed the impact, and the latest Pittsburg Micropolitan Report reflects it: Pittsburg saw a 25.3 percent increase in total room revenue for the first 10 months of 2017. All told, the local lodging industry sold 77,634 room nights — up 21.4 percent.

This year’s offerings include an MIAA Championship in February, and an NCAA Championship and NAIA Championship, both in March.