Rochester Competes with the Best

Rochester is well-known for its strong economy built on world-leading medical science and healthcare. Our leadership in these fields brings well over one million visitors to Rochester, MN, annually!  

Promoting sports tourism allows the Rochester community to build on its strengths in hospitality, tourism, and travel—our second largest industry. We have the people, amenities, and reputation to promote sports tourism and compete with the best.

Rochester Sports

Rochester Sports (formerly the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission) is the sports tourism arm of the Rochester Community. We are proud of the close relationship between Rochester Sports and the Rochester Sports Foundation. Working together we can achieve great things for the City and the region. Check out the current and future events coming to Rochester at www.rochestermnsports.org. 

Rochester Sports Tourism by the Numbers

Sports tourism already pumps millions of dollars into local businesses and surrounding communities. Here are the numbers:

  • 2018 Local Economic Impact:
    • 94 total events
    • 171,800 event attendees
    • 32,552 room nights generated
    • $25.6M direct economic impact in Rochester
  • 2019 Local Economic Impact:
    • 87 total events
    • 140,000 event attendees
    • 28,704 room nights generated
    • $24.6M direct economic impact in Rochester
  • 2017 was a record year with 102 sports events and 34,861 hotel rooms used
  • Since 2002 sporting events have brought an economic impact of more than $300,000,000 to City. (Economic impact is measured by using real numbers of hotels and guests uniquely visiting Rochester only for the sporting tournaments and are not estimations)
  • In the past ten years Rochester has been host to an average of more than 75 events utilizing more than 30,000 hotel rooms annually
  • Sports tourism (families traveling with their athletes for sport tournaments) continue to be the strongest area of group travel and was determined to be $11.4B (Billion) in the US during 2017 (study done by researchers at Ohio University) which reflects a 9% growth annually.
  • Youth tournaments have been one of the quickest groups to regain travel following the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.

We have some fantastic facilities already, like the National Volleyball Center and Mayo Civic Center. We have a full-time team at Rochester Sports who attract and organize national amateur sports events. With this strong foundation, we have the potential to grow even more. With new sports facilities and infrastructure, Minnesota’s Rochester can become a leader in amateur sports. The economic impact of sports tourism in our community can increase, and using public-private partnerships to develop new facilities will relieve the cost from all taxpayers and shift it to those who use the facility.

Building a Vibrant Community

Investing in sports and recreation will improve the quality of life for our community. The thrill of watching talented athletes compete, cheering crowds, solid role models for the young athletes in your own family—or just a fun weekend outing. Amateur sports promote vibrant and active lifestyles. During a time when many folks just want to stay in and binge-watch their new show—or when going to a professional sports game with your family could easily cost hundreds of dollars—amateur sports provide a meaningful contribution to our local community. 

How do we pay for these investments? City and government budgets are under more stress than ever before. The Rochester Sports Foundation plans to attract investors who see the potential of sports tourism in our City. These public-private partnerships (or 3Ps) ease the burden on Rochester’s taxpayers while meeting community demand and interests appropriately. Already home to Minnesota’s largest public-private partnership, the Destination Medical Center, Rochester makes a strong candidate for these projects.

But we need you—the Rochester community—to help us make amateur sports in Rochester work for us all. Learn more about potential plans for new facilities. Connect with us on social media and let us know what you think. Stay tuned for public input periods when it comes to the development of these new projects. Get involved!