Sports Tourism: Four Under-the-Radar Markets to Watch
Sports tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry, attracting millions of people every year. Whether it’s traveling for a weekend tournament, flying with sports equipment, or going to see your hometown team play an away game, sports tourism offers a range of experiences. Behind the scenes, markets are spending billions to attract events and fans to their towns. While big cities often get the spotlight for major events like the Super Bowl, smaller markets also compete for thousands of other events every year.
Recently, Sports Business Journal has identified four markets as being under the radar when it comes to winning event bids and providing a major league experience. These four markets include Salem, Virginia, Houston, Texas, Greensboro, North Carolina, and Louisville, Kentucky. These markets are considered by industry insiders to be underrated in terms of hosting sports events.
The City of Salem in Virginia is preparing to host its 100th NCAA championship. In Houston, recent event wins have contributed to a growing tourism market. Greensboro is living up to its reputation as “Tournament Town” by hosting a variety of events, while Louisville is seeing an increase in events coinciding with upgraded venues.
City and state funds are helping both large and small cities attract sports events and fans. Moreover, a deal with the PGA Tour aims to bring more visitors to South Carolina, putting them on course for a major sports event. Overall, the pursuit of major events is an important aspect of sports tourism and has economic benefits for cities and states.