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Economic Impact of Sports Tourism – Retail

By Kristine Ihrke, Director of Sales Centerstone Plaza Hotel Soldiers Field

October 17, 2023

Rochester is fortunate to host between 100 and 120 tournaments each year that bring in an average 145,000 visitors.  Not all of these visitors stay in our hotels, but almost all of them visit a convenience store whether for snacks, gas, or food to go. 

Have you ever been at the local convenience store or retail location and wondered why it was so busy?  Then you notice kids in uniforms and realize there must be a sporting event in town.  When Rochester hosts a tournament it brings in people from outside our area that often need items like water, snacks, and sports equipment. They may even be checking things off a to do list by shopping at our local retailers.

Scheels Marketing Coordinator, Regan Lonien, stated, “Here at Scheels, we love seeing athletes visit our store while attending tournaments and sporting events in Rochester. We strive to be the go-to store that families can count on while enjoying a weekend away from home, competing in their favorite sports. We recognize the positive impact that sports tourism can have on our community, especially in the retail space. We're thankful to be part of a community that embraces and encourages such tourism.”   

The additional revenue these tournaments bring to our area help to support local business as well as attracting new businesses.  This is a great benefit for our visitors and also for our local residents providing them with additional options for their retail needs.

"Sports tourism certainly boosts our city and our store's economy,” said Saif Galaria with Sinclair Fuel Stop. “We do have occasional wrestlers or hockey teams come in to buy snacks and gas. This is all dependent on accessibility and where the team is staying." 

As the number of visitors to our city increases, we will continue to see a larger variety of retail businesses that will give you additional options for your shopping list.