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Economic Impact of Sports Tourism – Hotels

By Kristine Ihrke

June 15, 2023

Sports tourism seems to be a catch phrase these days, but it has a real economic impact.  Over the next few months, we’ll be talking with the industries that are affected by sports tourism and the implications it has for its business. One of the biggest industries affected by sports tourism are the hotels.  Annually sporting events bring in over $3 million in revenue for Rochester hotels.

“We definitely feel the effects of a busy sports weekend.  Teams and athletes staying on Friday and Saturday help provide a consistent level of occupancy as many Mayo Clinic guests depart on the weekend,” said Kristine Ihrke, Director of Sales at the Centerstone Plaza Hotel Soldiers Field.

Hallie Appleby, Director of Sales at Hyatt House agrees.  “Sports tourism is our bread and butter on the weekends. The Mayo Patients go back home and we host our sports teams. If we didn't house teams, our hotel would be almost empty. We also love that tournaments have a trickle effect.  Tournaments bring in families (parents, grandparents, friends, etc.) bringing revenue to the hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities and sports venues.  Keeps our community economy strong! “

Rochester enjoys robust occupancy Sunday through Thursday thanks to the Mayo Clinic.  However; most guests depart on the weekend leaving hotels with unfilled rooms.  The sports market fills the gap and allows hotels to be profitable seven days a week.

“Sporting events in Rochester are very important to all local businesses. The teams and families coming to Rochester help increase weekend occupancy and bring a whole new level of excitement to all of our guests and staff.  It is so much fun seeing the interaction between everyone during their stay!” Liz Marti, General Manager at Home2Suites.

The hospitality market is grateful for the investment the city has made in sports tourism and looks forward to additional facilities to help support our local economy.