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Rochester Sports Board of DIrector's Vote Unanimously to support sales tax extension

Rochester Sports Board of DIrector's Vote Unanimously to support sales tax extension

By Ed Hruska

September 11, 2023

Rochester Sports has joined other Rochester based organizations in supporting the proposed Rochester Sales Tax Extension - which goes to the local voters on November 7th. Rochester Sports is directly involved in bringing sports tourism to the Rochester area - netting the community annually $25M in direct spending annually. 

“Rochester is most definitely in need of a new sports facility to continue to serve our citizens and provide a sports event location for visitors. Projects similar to this have been built throughout the country and have proven to be heavily utilized. Rochester Sports views this project as a necessity and it would provide a great asset to our community.” states Rochester Sports Executive Director Matt Esau.

In a statement shared by Rochester Sport's Sales & Events Coordinator, Kaleigh Zollner, she identified how the newly proposed complex would grow the ability to increase visitor dollars. 

"Rochester Sports would help to greatly improve Rochester’s economic impact if we had a Recreation Center with 8 additional basketball courts!   Our early bird tournament brings in 280 youth basketball teams every year in November.  Because of the high demand, the November tournament gets filled by August and we have to turn teams away.  With 8 additional courts, we could accept 40+ more teams, which would equal about 2,000 more spectators and fans and we also wouldn’t have to utilize outside communities to host games; such as, Pine Island, Byron, Kasson and Dover-Eyota.  Last year our Early Bird Tournament accrued over 1,600 room nights in our local hotels.  Think of how much money was spent at bars, restaurants, hotels, and gas stations!

Our Wrestling tournaments also currently struggle to fit in the space we have here in Rochester.  Our MN USA Folkstyle Tournament, for instance, brings in over 4,000 attendees/800+ room nights and for the past several years we’ve received complaints from coaches and fans on how overly-full the facility is and that there isn’t enough room at RCTC.

Rochester Sports, on average, hosts 8-10 weekends of volleyball tournaments in town every January through May!  We currently utilize RCTC and the national volleyball center for those tournaments.  We also attempt to reserve the local high schools when we can, but they are often booked by their own sports teams (which have precedence over us) so we often strike out with those.  If we had 8 more basketball courts, that could be about 10 to 11 extra volleyball courts!  We could host 60+ more teams for each of those weekends, but are limited because of court space."