SDM readers already know the benefits a successful sports event – or a series of them – can have on local economies. This month, however, the nation got to find out.
CBS This Morning featured a segment, entitled, “Dayton, Tennessee, Reels in Bass Fishermen.” The story, which aired on June 19, focused on the positive economic force sports have been in various communities throughout the country.
Dayton served as the case study for the CBS feature. A small town with a population of only 7,100, Dayton had previously been identified by the Appalachian Region as an "Economically Distressed" area. The town decided to parlay its natural resource – a lake with great bass fishing – to bring in fishing-related sports tourism.
Dana Jacobson, reporting for CBS This Morning, noted that as a result of its efforts, Dayton began attracting tournaments from, among others, Bassmasters, FLW, Cabela's and more. The county’s recruiting strategy has caused the construction of two hotels, four restaurants and a number of associated jobs and spurred $10,000,000 in new private investments.
The segment highlighted a number of other stellar events – recognizing the host destinations along with event owners. Interestingly enough, all those in the spotlight were events that were honored by Sports Destination Management as 2016 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism.
Events included the following – and provided an excellent representation of the variety of sports, venues and destinations that make up the sports tourism industry.
Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships
Collier County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Total Room Nights: 1,500+
Total Economic Impact: $2,500,000
Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival
Cable Area and Hayward Area Chambers of Commerce
Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin
Total Room Nights: 6,435
Total Economic Impact: $1,100,000
Hayward Lakes Visitors and Convention Bureau
Total Room Nights: 4,100
Total Economic Impact: $20,000,000
Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, Inc.
Total Room Nights: 39,846
Total Economic Impact: $14,000,000
CBS This Morning also conducted an interview with SDM’s managing editor, Mary Helen Sprecher, to get some insights into the sports event hosting market.
"You do not need to host the Olympics to become a sports destination," Sprecher notes in the segment. The fact that many communities spotlighted in the program were leveraging pre-existing venues – or, in Dayton’s case, capitalized on a feature in the landscape, in order to turn them into economic boons.
The segment concluded with the information that in Dayton, success bred (or maybe in this case, spawned) success. A Finnish company, Nokian Tires, has announced a $360 million investment in a new plant in the town, along with the promise of 400 new jobs.
Sports Destination Management would like to thank Terry Hasseltine, Executive Director of Maryland Sports, for arranging the location for Mary Helen's interview at The Bob Lucido Fields at Covenant Park in Ellicott City, Maryland.