Sports tourism was documented as a $323.42 billion industry in 2020. In 2021, more than 175 million Americans traveled for sports-related reasons. Rochester saw a direct economic benefit of $24,500,000 in 2022. Direct spending which brings new dollars to the community and exchanges hands seven times before it leaves, benefits so many industries, not just hotels and restaurants.
As a city of 121,465 Rochester MN is a strong community. However, while it serves as a regional hub for youth and amateur sports our new sports facilities are lagging behind. Going back to 1951 and Mayo Field, Rochester’s sports facility investment has ground to a halt. Highlighted is some history on what worked in the past for Rochester and ideas/plans for what could work moving forward.
The map shows numerous cities and communities in the Midwest who have invested in new sports facilities and complexes to not only improve the quality of life for their citizens, but attract lucrative sports tourism dollars. Other cities are adding high quality beneficial sports facilities and Rochester is not. Here is what they are doing and as they are add- ing new facilities and funding sports tourism, Rochester is and will continue to lose its share of this attractive market.
In recent years many Midwest cities have invested in new sports complexes to increase quality of life for their citizens and also hosted local and regional events and competitions. READ MORE
SPRINGFIELD, ILL (WICS/WRSP) — The long-awaited sports complex is finally happening. Springfield City Council approved the Legacy Pointe Sports Complex on Tuesday night. The project has been in the works for the last couple of years, and now, the city council gave the green light for funding. READ MORE
As Visit Quad Cities, the region’s official destination management and marketing organization (DMMO), reinvigorates its sports tourism direction, they announced today a newly reorganized and reimagined Quad Cities Sports Commission, now known as Sports QC Powered By Visit Quad Cities. READ MORE
Like many places in the Northland, Duluth relies on tourism and the revenue that comes along with it, and making sure that they are up to date and in good condition is key. READ MORE
LINCOLN — Developers joined a state senator on Wednesday in seeking state help to create a “destination” retail-sports-entertainment complex that would rival “The Legends” area in Kansas City, which draws 15 million visitors a year. READ MORE
A consultant's report says a $38.3 million sports complex on Madison's Southeast Side can make a profit and generate millions of dollars in spending and produce hotel stays. Madison and partners can create a $38.3 million sports complex. READ MORE
Similar to the regional information, other cities across the nation are adding high quality sports facilities and Rochester is not. Some states have created funding tools to assist cities, other states simply see it as a lucrative market they want to pursue. The Rochester Amateur Sports Commission, formed in 1991, was at the forefront of sports tourism hosting. We now find ourselves falling behind as a city - locally, regionally and nationally.
Groundbreaking for Scheels Sports Park Construction to start for a $67 million sports complex opening in 2025 Ceremonial shovels turning over dirt Sept. 20 signaled the start of construction for a $67 million sports complex that city officials said will make Springfield a popular destination for young people competing on traveling athletic teams from throughout the Midwest and beyond. READ MORE
The City of Cary, N.C. has received $75 million in funding for a new sports complex. While the project is still in the early stages, city officials are hoping for a mid-2028 completion. READ MORE
STAMFORD, Conn. — Pickleball America aims to become one of the largest indoor pickleball venues in the world as it takes over an 80,000-square-foot anchor space in the Stamford Town Center mall this summer. The organization plans to open 28 courts in two phases—Phase 1 will begin immediately with the first floor (43,000 square feet), with the second floor (37,000 square feet) opening in the following months. READ MORE
2022 was a banner year for sports tourism in the city of Fort Worth,TX READ MORE
Lafreniere Park Soccer Complex, READ MORE
FLORENCE, S.C. – Florence has its latest fields of dreams with the 75-acre Florence Sports Complex. The complex (located on Jennie O'Bryan Avenue, next to the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center) already has Carolina Bank Field, home to the Coastal Plain League’s Florence Flamingos. Now, it has five LED-lighted Little League Baseball fields (four batting cages for these) and an LED-lighted high school-regulation diamond (with bullpens, and players can use batting cages at Carolina Bank Field). But that’s not all. There is an LED-lighted track & field facility. The opening ceremony for Little League Baseball is 9 a.m. Saturday on the high school/regulation field (Field No. 1). And youth games will start at 10 a.m. on Fields 2 through 6. READ MORE
ODESSA, Texas — The path to a potential sports complex in the City of Odessa continued Wednesday night as the Parks and Recreation department hosted members of the community to further explain the process. Synergy Sports is currently performing a feasibility study that will be used to determine whether or not a sports complex could work in the city. READ MORE
The Pasco County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve plans to develop a multi-use tourism sports facility on an approximately 224-acre, county-owned parcel of land located in the Wesley Chapel area. READ MORE
A proposed $44 million youth sports complex in Clark County could lead to millions in new investment and provide a needed boost to area businesses and hotels, local leaders said. READ MORE