The amateur sports tourism industry contributed more than $20 million to Loudoun County’s economy in 2016, according to a new study released by Visit Loudoun.
With thousands of people traveling to Loudoun annually for tournaments, sports tourism is a significant contributor to the local economy. Visit Loudoun engaged the School of Business at The George Washington University to complete a sports economic impact study that identifies the contributions of amateur sports tournaments including visitor expenditures and state and local tax revenue.
“This data is invaluable,” Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson said. “The sports market is a growing and viable industry as families continue to travel for their children’s sports. The study confirms that our efforts in this market are on target and demonstrates that we are seeing a return on investment.”
In 2016, an estimated 20,593 people traveled 50 miles or more to Loudoun to watch or participate in 19 major sports tournaments, according to the study. Those tournaments contributed $20.5 million to the local economy and generated $1.2 million in tax revenue.
On average, people stayed 3.21 nights and 96 percent of those visitors stayed in hotels. Those visitors are spending on average an additional $226 per room at Loudoun restaurants, shops and attractions. The study also shows the sports industry attracts affluent visitors. More than 50 percent of people who came to Loudoun for tournaments in 2016 had an average household income of more than $100,000.
Visit Loudoun partners with Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services to bring in tournaments annually. This weekend marks the start of one of the busiest times of the year for sports in Loudoun. The Protect Our Nation’s Youth (PONY) softball tournament will take over 17 fields over the next two weekends. Immediately following PONY, Loudoun welcomes the USSSA Class C National Championship July 26-30, followed by the USA Softball Eastern Nationals Aug. 2-6.
“With outstanding sports facilities and a variety of off-the-field activities, Loudoun is a premier destination for sports tournaments,” said Visit Loudoun National Sports Sales Manager Torye Hurst. “Loudoun is also very accessible for national travel teams with Dulles International located within the county and the addition of Metro service will only enhance the visitor’s experience.”
About Visit Loudoun: Visit Loudoun is the destination management organization for Loudoun, Va., known as DC’s Wine Country®, located 25 miles from Washington, DC. This not-for-profit organization develops and implements programs that promote tourism and travel to Loudoun and its towns, to increase visitation and generate visitor spending. The organization showcases Virginia’s culinary and heritage assets, including award-winning vineyards, horse country, scenic byways, and towns and villages steeped in history. Visit www.VisitLoudoun.org for more information.