The Enhance Iowa Board awarded a $41,000 Sports Tourism grant, the program’s first, to the Iowa Sports Foundation for the State Games of America (SGA).
SGA is an Olympic-style sporting event that will be hosted in 2022 by the Iowa Sports Foundation and the Iowa Games. The bi-annual event, held in various locations around the United States since 1999, will make its Iowa debut July 27-31.
Over 40 sports will be offered with more than 15,000 athletes of all ages expected to participate, with upwards of 5,000 out-of-state participants expected from all 50 states. Sports will be held in a variety of facilities spanning the Ames and Des Moines metro areas. Public and private facilities will be utilized, showcasing the best that central Iowa has to offer.
Promotion began in 2019 and will continue through July 2022. From digital to print, social media to television, broad and narrow-focused, the marketing campaign will blend awareness within Iowa and targeted marketing focused on previous participants and qualifiers.
The Sports Tourism program provides financial assistance for projects that market or promote sporting events in Iowa. Eligible sporting events include professional, collegiate and amateur level sporting events that occur in Iowa. Funding for the program was appropriated during the 2021 legislative session.
The Enhance Iowa Program provides financial incentives to communities for the construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities that enhance the quality of life in Iowa. To date, 99 Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grants have been awarded by the board, totaling $31,508,183. The next Enhance Iowa Board meeting is scheduled for April 7, 2022.