What’s hot in Florida? Panama City Beach, apparently. As the weather cools, economic impact is being calculated, and some great numbers are rising to the top.
The Panama City Beach Sports Complex hosted 20 tournaments and events between April and July 2021. The estimated economic impact from these youth travel sports events is greater than $50 million. These tournaments in baseball, softball, lacrosse and soccer brought in over 1,350 out of market teams, 19,000 players and over 60,000 sports tournament visitors in total.
The final tournament of the summer season was the World Softball League’s World Championships #2, an event which had over 4,500 participants and spectators in attendance between the Panama City Beach Sports Complex, Frank Brown Park and H.G. Harder’s Recreation Complex.
During the summer season, the sports complex added new events, including four Perfect Game baseball tournaments. The sports complex also brought in travel teams taking part in a combined total of ?seven tournaments, hosted by the United States Fastpitch Association (USFA) and Grand Slam Sports Tournaments, respectively. These seven tournaments alone saw a combined total of 3,500 athletes and spectators visit Panama City Beach.
Between April and September 2021, the Panama City Beach Sports Complex was home to a total of 26 baseball, softball, soccer, and lacrosse tournaments. These tournaments brought more than 1,600 teams consisting of 22,500 athletes to the Panama City Beach Sports Complex.
The economic impact from the summer season (April through September alone) is $50M+. This figure is a great sign, considering the Panama City Beach Sports Complex is only in its second year of operation.
Diverse range of sports tournaments and economic growth
When we designed the fields and the multi-purpose model, we were really concentrating on three areas.
- Providing more fields for our strong summer diamond events.
- Developing older 15U+ baseball.
- Increasing the capacity for new events in rectangle sports such as soccer, lacrosse, flag football and football.
The complex was able to host 26 baseball, softball, lacrosse and soccer tournaments between April and September alone. In addition, we added new events in soccer, football and lacrosse that are becoming part of our annual slate of events, and we are excited to host in our community. Our older age level baseball groups such as Grand Slam, 2D Sports, Perfect Game, Travel Ball USA have enjoyed the new turf especially during the seasonal rain in summer, out of all the events we did not lose any rounds or games to rain. Our off-season baseball has also attracted some new events for the upcoming year with Cal Ripken Experience, Triple Crown, Prep Baseball, USSSA, Baseball Youth all adding new tournaments for 2021-22 year.
The Panama City Beach Sports Complex, like many other sports facilities, closed in 2020 with policies related to the pandemic. At the same time, the park was very fortunate to be among one of the first in the nation to welcome athletes and youth sports back on the outdoor fields with expanded COVID protocols.
In addition, our strong drive market for the Southeast really helped with uncertainty in air travel. For 2021, the travel team numbers increased 75% over 2020 Summer with an additional 600 teams playing in PCB providing a nice economic impact to our hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
During June and July, the sports complex hosted a total of 11 tournaments, with a total of nearly 14,000 athletes and 35,000 spectators. Tournaments included baseball, softball, lacrosse, and soccer and out-of-market teams were over 90%. National tournament operators during this busy period include Perfect Game, 2D Sports, USFA, Grand Slam, DLC Sports and Soccer YTH.
Looking to 2021-22, the PCB Sports Complex is leading the way for sports with over 55 events on the schedule. Adding in other venues, we are well over 100 sports events, and we are excited for another great year.
Panama City Beach’s Sports Complex is funded exclusively by tourism tax dollars and made possible through a public-private partnership with the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, St. Joe Company and Bay District Schools.
Full information is available from the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau at http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.