Like many other major industries, the global sports tourism sector took a massive hit because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But with the world opening up – and travel becoming easier – the sector is expected to recover by 2022.

According to a new market report by Allied Market Research, the global sports tourism industry was pegged at $323.42bn in 2020. However, it is expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.1% from 2021 to 2030.

The report revealed that by region Europe and North America held the largest share in 2020, accounting for nearly two-fifths of the market, due to the presence of a large population and high participation in sports activities. However, the global sports tourism market across Asia-Pacific is projected to register the highest CAGR of 17.7% during the forecast period of 2021 to 2030, owing to increase in sports participation and sports event hosting.


Rochester is fortunate to have one of the strongest and longest established sports commissions in the country. Created in 1991 and known then as the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission, now Rochester MN Sports, it has long been a leader in sports tourism through hosting local, regional and national events. We are a proud partner of theirs and work hard to create new and improved facilities for their hosting of future events. You can view their upcoming events at https://www.rochestermnsports.org/events.html


Past five years - Total numbers of sporting Events


Past five yeras - Event


Past five yaers - Hotel Room Nights


Past five years - Direct economic
Impact in Rochester


September 25, 2023

Election Day is November 7. Early voting will begin September 22. READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

RAEDI Board votes to support renewal of the City of Rochester’s half-cent sales tax

August 31, 2023

Media Release Date of Release: August 31, 2023 Contact: Molly Schmidt, RAEDI Marketing & Communications Director 507-288-0208 or mschmidt@raedi.com RAEDI Board votes to support renewal of the City of Rochester’s half-cent sales tax ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) Board of Directors passed a resolution last week to support the renewal of the city’s half-cent sales tax that would raise $205 million to support four major projects, including a $65 million regional recreation and sports complex, street reconstruction projects ($50 million), an economic vitality fund ($50 million), and $40 million for flood-control and water-quality projects. READ MORE

Rochester chamber gives its endorsement to $205 million sales tax extension

August 28, 2023

ROCHESTER – With little more than two months before a Nov. 7 special election, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is endorsing a renewal of the city’s half-cent sales tax that would raise $205 million for four projects, including a $65 million regional recreation and sports complex. The announcement of the chamber board's support for extending the sales tax was made in a press statement released Monday morning, Aug. 28, 2023. READ MORE

Impact of Sports Tourism – Restaurants

August 14, 2023

With over 300 food and/or beverage options in Rochester, there is a lot to cheer about when it comes to sports tourism. READ MORE

The Benefits of Youth Sports In Local Communities (And How Businesses Can Support Them)

June 27, 2023

There’s no question—well, at least there shouldn’t be—about the importance that recreation, youth sports and park systems play in supporting, serving and improving a community. Whether it’s a rural town or a bustling metropolitan city, these assets can be both popular and important. Outside of the obvious benefits of physical activity the CDC highlights to one’s physical, mental and emotional health and well-being, studies have shown that well-designed and planned parks have the potential to reduce crime. READ MORE

Unified tourism voice brings most success

June 24, 2023

Facilities are key to attracting and retaining top-tier events that drive economic impact and overnight hotel stays to a destination. READ MORE

Economic Impact of Sports Tourism – Hotels

June 15, 2023

Sports tourism seems to be a catch phrase these days, but it has a real economic impact. READ MORE

Olmsted County Youth Population

April 13, 2023


Sports Tourism: What Does It Mean for You and Your Community? 

April 4, 2023

On a much smaller scale, sports tourism is that weekend baseball tournament that brings in 50 teams to your town. No matter how big or small, those impacts make a difference. READ MORE


Sports Tourism: What Does It Mean for You and Your Community

By Chandler Nobles, MS, CPRP | Posted on March 13, 2023

Tags: Urban Parks and RecreationTrends and NewsOperationsFunding

Sports tourism is a common term now, but it was largely unheard of until around 12 years ago. Sports tourism is a massive industry, and one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism according to the United World Tourism Agency. According to the Sports Events and Tourism Association (SETA), sports tourism generated over $90 billion dollars in economic impact across the U.S. in 2021.  Sports tourism refers to travel for sporting events to either participate in or observe. Across the nation, sports tourism provides communities big and small millions of dollars in economic impact each year.


What are some of the first thoughts that come to mind when you think of sports tourism? On a large scale, an example of sports tourism would be the Super Bowl. Each year, the Super Bowl host city rakes in millions of dollars in extra spending from people from out of town. A large portion of the spending is from hotels, restaurants, ticket sales, and shopping due to the influx of tourists leading up to the week of the “Big Game”. Taxes from hotels, car rentals and hospitality all play a big part in the economic impact. With millions of dollars in spending coming from outside of the community, this is a big boost to local business owners.         

On a much smaller scale, sports tourism is that weekend baseball tournament that brings in 50 teams to your town. No matter how big or small, those impacts make a difference.

Many times, especially when it comes to weekend tournaments, families bring along siblings and grandparents to watch their children compete all weekend long. For those small communities, this means big-time spending. This big spending has caught the attention of city officials and recreation professionals across the country, and now is the time to cash in.

By attracting visitors to your community, additional tax revenues are generated from hotel occupancy, food and beverage sales and hospitality services. In return, communities can keep taxes low for their residents and provide additional streams of income for city infrastructure improvements. Being that parks and recreation is subsidized by local taxes, the community often wants to see the benefit of their dollars at work. Oftentimes, sports infrastructure lies dormant on the weekends and gets very little use. Parks and city officials are now taking advantage of their community assets to generate additional streams of revenue.

Attracting high-profile tournaments can bring an influx of visitor spending into your community. See how Valdosta, Georgia, a community of around 56,000, has leveraged sports tourism to make an impact in their community. Hosting big events also brings publicity by raising the profile of the city and the potential for continued tourism. By working with local stakeholders, park and recreation departments are able to use these additional funds to help make facility improvements and provide a positive impact in their community.

In conclusion, sports tourism has a significant impact on the economic growth of cities across the globe. It creates job opportunities, increased tax revenue, boosts local businesses and attracts new businesses to the area.

Chandler Nobles, MS, CPRP (he/him) is an athletics supervisor at Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority.

Economic Data

Hotel Reporting

The Loss of One Youth or Amateur Sports Tournament Costs a City an Average of $360,000 in Hotel Revenue

EventConnect | November 18, 2020

LONDON, Ontario–November 18, 2020–Today, EventConnect, the leading provider of event and sports tourism management software, announced findings showing the significant economic impact felt by cities from the loss of youth and amateur sports tournaments a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings from EventConnect’s internal database of over 4,000 events, 400 associations, 15,000 hotels, and 800 cities revealed that the cancellation of just one tournament costs a city an average of $360,000. However, the cancellation of a big tournament can result in a city losing as much as $5,074,185 in a single weekend. The US cities that have so far been hit the hardest in 2020 due to the pandemic’s cancellations are Mauston, Wisconsin; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Georgetown, Delaware; Boston, Massachusetts; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Buffalo, New York.

However, as restrictions on tournaments vary between the states, those states expecting to see the largest number of tournaments return between November 2020 and the end of March 2021 are:

  • Texas (54 tournaments)
  • Wisconsin (22 tournaments)
  • Florida (21 tournaments)
  • West Virginia (13 tournaments)
  • Maryland (9 tournaments)
  • Indiana (7 tournaments)
  • Mississippi (7 tournaments)

Some tournaments are choosing to relocate to other states to enable travel teams to compete still. For example, in Boston, Massachusetts, some events are being moved to Connecticut and New Hampshire, causing potential Boston hotel revenue losses of over $574,848. The data also shows that most of the teams are currently traveling to tournaments from New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; Las Vegas, NV; and San Diego, CA.

Due to tighter restrictions on indoor tournaments, when it comes to travel tournament cancellations, some sports like hockey have been hit harder than others that are commonly played outdoors, such as soccer and baseball. EventConnect’s data shows that while there were 140 hockey tournaments initially scheduled for 2020, only 10 of them could be played.

“This year has been filled with uncertainty in the youth and amateur sports industry, but it is encouraging to see that sporting events are starting to kick off again, especially around the South and East Coast. I hope they will soon pick up again on the West Coast as well in a manner that ensures everyone’s health and safety,” said John D’Orsay, CEO at EventConnect. “In areas where youth and amateur sports have not yet come back, there is an opportunity for tournament rights holders to use this time to review their workflow and the technology that they use to manage events. Our highly customizable solution gives tournament organizers more time to market and produces events with a lower headcount, ultimately resulting in increased revenue.”

About the data

The report’s findings were compiled from an internal database of over 4,000 events, 400 associations, 15,000 hotels, and 800 cities. The loss of city revenue was calculated using EventConnect’s data on the average cost of a hotel room for a team at a travel tournament and the assumption that a family spends $115 per day traveling on food, drinks, transportation and entertainment.