Myrtle Beach : Economic Impact and More
31 May, 2016
Sports tourism has grown into an estimated $7 billion industry, and the competition for every dollar is as fierce as the action on the various fields of play.
Which brings us to Myrtle Beach, one of the America’s most aggressive and forward-looking cities when it comes to utilizing sports tourism as a vital part of its economic engine.
Myrtle Beach enjoys several natural incentives for event organizers, not the least of which are the area’s subtropical climate, the allure of the Atlantic Ocean, and the surplus of accommodations offerings and attractions.
But focusing only on what Myrtle Beach offers away from the field would be a disservice to the commitment the Grand Strand has made to sports tourism, which, by conservative estimates, contributed more than $167 million to the local economy in 2015. That number represented an eight percent increase over 2014 and is only expected to grow as the city continues to dedicate resources towards a burgeoning market.
At the heart of the area’s appeal are some of the finest facilities on the East Coast, beginning with the Myrtle Beach Sports Center, a state-of-the-art, 100,000-square foot complex that opened in March of 2015. The Sports Center includes 8 basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts, a café, entertainment zone, and a 1,500-seat telescopic bleacher system.
The complex can host basketball, volleyball, wrestling, martial arts, archery, kickball and more, making it a boon for the sports scene and local economy.
The Grand Park Athletic and North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports complexes are among the finest outdoor, multi-sport venues in the Southeast. Both feature immaculate plays surfaces – Grand Park has artificial fields while North Myrtle Beach has natural grass – that cater to youth baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse, in addition to adult softball.
On the South end of the Grand Strand, Georgetown has emerged as an equally compelling destination for event organizers, highlighted by 8 Oaks Park, a superb baseball and softball facility.
What provides the Myrtle Beach area additional separation from competitive destinations are the facilities at Coastal Carolina University, which includes a 127,000+ square foot convocation center, a climbing wall and more, and the Ripken Experience, a you-have-to-see-it-to-believe baseball complex. The Ripken Experience features eight synthetic turf fields modeled after historic ballparks and training facilities that are unrivaled.
When comes time to tally wins and losses in the field of sports tourism, Myrtle Beach looks like the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors. The area has been willing to shift the paradigm and invest in areas where others didn’t necessarily see opportunity.
The result has been economic success story of championship proportions.