Economics

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Palm Beach County Reports Record Year for Sports Tourism

24 Oct, 2016


A record-breaking number of sporting events for the Palm Beach County Sports Commission generated a record-breaking number of sports-related room nights for Palm Beach County’s hospitality industry.  At the conclusion of its 2016 fiscal year, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission played host to 152 sports events, which produced 203,262 room nights derived from hotels, motels, and seasonal rentals in Palm Beach County.  

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s efforts resulted in new benchmarks for sports tourism.  The Palm Beach County Sports Commission supported over 200,000 room nights for the first time since its inception in 1985.   The 203,262 tracked room nights eclipses the Sports Commission’s previous record of 183,896 room nights, which was set last year.  The 19,366 rise in room nights represents an 11% year over year increase.  The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s portfolio of 152 events tops last year’s record at 138.  The 152 events represent more than 40 different types of sports disciplines, which demonstrate the diverse sports facilities and venues residing in Palm Beach County.  

In addition to room nights, the 152 sports events created a tremendous level of visitor spending.  In total, sports tourism generating events spurred an estimated $269 million of direct visitor spending during FY 16.  

Sports tourism continues to serve all regions of Palm Beach County.  The north, central, and south sectors of Palm Beach County were each home to over 30% of the 152 sports events hosted by the Sports Commission.   

A significant portion of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s tourism output occurred during the summer, which is traditionally a slow time for Palm Beach County’s hospitality industry.  The Palm Beach County Sports Commission supported 63 of the 152 events during the summer.  In all, the summertime sporting events brought more than 25,000 athletes to the county, resulting in more than 52,000 nightly hotel room nights. The summer events boost hotel occupancy rates during a period that hotel stays are at its lowest.  

The portfolio of sports events hosted by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission includes an impressive collection of statewide, regional, national, and international events.  Marquee events such as the Boca Raton Bowl, The Honda Classic on the PGA TOUR, the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships, the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Polo Junior Golf Classic the USA Baseball National Team Championships, the Cal Ripken 10U World Series, the Winter Equestrian Festival, and the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) National Games are only a sample of the events that contributed to the banner year for sports tourism.  

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