Youth sports has become a force to reckon with worldwide, but especially so within the United States. Cities all over the country are vying for the opportunity to host major youth sports tournaments as a means of boosting their economy.
What you know.
The short term effect is obvious. Teams come into town, rent hotel rooms, fill the restaurants for the weekend, go to the movies at the end of a long day and shop in the local stores. The money from a single tournament weekend can help bolster a failing economy.
The multiplication factor.
But there is more to it than that. In most cases the effect is multiplied because a town that can support one tournament can support multiple.
A perfect example of this is Rockford, Illinois. Over the past several years, Rockford has added a multipurpose arena, an indoor ice rink, golf courses, a tennis center, race tracks, a water theme park, swimming pools, the Trailside Centre, a softball and soccer complex, boat launch areas, museums, stadiums, campgrounds, a bicycle BMX track, a water ski show area, rose gardens, and a greenhouse. While all of these facilities are good for the residents of the town, they attract tourism and tournaments.
Not only is Rockford able to host tennis, basketball, soccer, lacrosse and baseball tournaments, they are able to keep the people who come for those tournaments in town longer to enjoy the additional amenities and possibly attract them back on non-tournament weekends.
While there is still a call for a wide ranging study on the total economic impact of youth sports, the numbers we do have are staggering.
According to Goal Nation, the 2017 US Youth Soccer Region II (Midwest) Championships provided an estimated economic impact of $17 million to the Sioux Falls, S.D., region. In February of this year three smaller tournaments in St. George, Utah generated $15 million dollars. These numbers are multiplied across the country in dozens of cities.
Can your city support a larger tournament?
While the numbers are impressive, hosting a youth sports tournament is not for the faint of heart. Cities must be prepared. Unfortunately, building beautiful facilities may not be enough. Your city must be able to house and feed the players, coaches and their families and it must have ample parking and roads that can support the added traffic. Launching a tournament before your city is ready may discourage coaches and larger organizations from returning in the future.
Youth sports has become a major part of our society. While recreational teams steadily bring in more and more young athletes, the club and elite levels are skyrocketing. New clubs are popping up in every sport and with those clubs comes a need for more tournaments. This may be good news for your community. Will your city be a part of this growth?
If you are considering hosting a tournament for your city, we would love to be involved. Contact our office to learn how our company can help you provide an easy solution to housing for your incoming teams.