The Kissimmee Sports Commission and Diamond 9 Events, LLC have signed a multi-year partnership agreement beginning in 2018 that will generate nearly $96 million in direct economic impact annually.
As part of the agreement, Diamond 9 Events will host 11 baseball and softball events spanning January through October 2018 at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the Osceola County Stadium. Those events are projected to deliver more than 83,000 room nights. The two-year deal also opens the door for Diamond 9 to broaden its profile beyond softball and begin staging baseball tournaments.
With the deal, the two parties also agreed to discuss possibly establishing a Diamond 9 Events headquarters, a national training facility, and improving Kissimmee’s existing softball and baseball venues.
Since its launch in 2009, Diamond 9 Events has conducted large softball tournaments to elite travel softball teams from across the nation. The company currently hosts 21 events mainly at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports but also in other states. Among them is the Sun Classic Fall Showcase, held at the Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and one of the largest recruiting showcases in the world. Last year, 325 teams attended the event along with more than 200 college coaches.
“We think Kissimmee Sports will provide our participants with a quality experience through their amazing array of accommodations, ideal location and an overall high-caliber sports experience,” said Kevin O’Donnell, President of Diamond 9 Events. “We are excited to see what the future holds and overjoyed that Kissimmee Sports will be a part of our journey and future endeavors.”
“The partnership is invaluable to the destination as it will not only bring room nights, but helps fill the gap created with recent decisions by the U.S. Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) and Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros to relocate out of Kissimmee,” stated John Poole, Kissimmee Sports Director of Sports Marketing and Development.
USSSA, with its roughly $40-million impact on Osceola County and approximately 70,000 room nights each year, plans to move its headquarters to Brevard County by the end of the year. The Astros, who have generated tens of millions in economic impact annually to the county since 1985, announced plans to move to Palm Beach County in 2017.
The Kissimmee Sports Commission pursues and attracts amateur sports, both traditional and non-traditional, as well as other high-profile sporting events to the Kissimmee destination, providing the variety of accommodations and sports facilities, and the tools and services needed for a memorable and successful event. Sports tourism is responsible for bringing in more than 300,000 visitors to the popular Central Florida destination. The Kissimmee Sports Commission is a brand extension that falls under Experience Kissimmee, the tourism sales and marketing authority for Osceola County. For more information, visit www.kissimmeesports.com.