November 29, 2023 | Sports Destination Management
#220: November 29, 2023
Map of Saudi Arabia

American Event Owners Pulling Up Stakes and Moving to Saudi Arabia

It's ironic that in an age of "Buy American," event owners of sports tournaments usually held in the USA are pulling up stakes and moving the action to Saudi Arabia. The latest destination to lose out is Newport, Rhode Island, whose longtime event, the WTA Finals will shift to the Middle East. What else will move and why? (Hint: A lot more, and money.) more

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Destination Spotlight

Watertown, SD: A Sporting Haven of Hospitality and Versatility

Nestled in the heart of South Dakota, Watertown emerges as a sports destination that stands head and shoulders above many others of its size. The city's claim to fame lies not only in its abundance of multi-purpose spaces, ball fields and golf courses but more importantly, in the warm embrace of its community, where hospitality is an art form. more

Watertown, SD: A Sporting Haven of Hospitality and Versatility
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Featured Destination
Greater Ontario, California: Experience Memorable Sports Events

Greater Ontario, California: Experience Memorable Sports Events

The Greater Ontario Sports & Entertainment Authority powered by the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to be the cornerstone for all sports-related activities in the cities of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, California. more

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In other news and commentary...
Limited-Service and Extended-Stay Hotels Benefitting Most from Sports Tourism

The hotel industry is not just strong, it's expanding, according to a recent industry report. Sports tourism is folding into that growth as well, something that hospitality professionals are becoming aware of, and using to their advantage. Chief among the beneficiaries: extended-stay and limited-service properties, a mainstay of sports events. more

Easy Winners on Court

With tennis and pickleball, the gains that started in 2020 have just kept going, with both sports popular at all levels and all ages (even pickleball, in which the estimated player age keeps trending downward). Expect even more growth as we see an uptick in the construction and renovation of great facilities nationwide. Here are just a few. more

After Bumps in the Road, F1 Race in Vegas Signs On for Second Year

Was the Formula 1 event in Vegas a photo finish or a flaming wreck? While the race was projected to have a $1.2 billion economic impact, it was not without its share of problems, many typical of a first-time event. We already know, for example, that F1 was forced to pump the brakes on its demands on Las Vegas in exchange for hosting an event there. more

The Home of Speedskating's Revival is...Milwaukee

The future of speedskating, a sport that many people probably don't think about outside of the Olympics, can be found in Milwaukee. That's the word from five-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist speedskater Bonnie Blair and Dave Cruikshank, the four-time U.S. Olympic speedskater and owner of a performance center for hockey players in the Brew City. more

Corpus Christi ISD to Teach All Third Graders to Swim. What About Other States?

Everything is bigger in Texas and that includes the importance of water safety. The Corpus Christi Independent School District is teaching students the importance of swimming safety in the Coastal Bend by starting a program to teach all third graders how to swim. That's 34 schools in all, and advocacy groups are thrilled. Will other states join in? more

Meet SDM's 2023 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism

Powerful and innovative. Those are two words that we have long associated with this industry. And in previous years, we have learned two more: Determined and resourceful. It takes all four of these qualities to bring events to life. This year's honorees, our 2023 Champions in Economic Impact in Sports Tourism, have lived up to all those superlatives. more

Inside Events
Inside Events: 5v5 Futsal

Inside Events: 5v5 Futsal

Futsal, or indoor soccer, has become a solid choice for outdoor players who want to hone their competitive skills during the downtime in cold weather. Small-sided format continues to increase in popularity, and as a result, event owner 5v5 Soccer has announced a new winter series of small-sided futsal tournaments. Want to host or learn more? Read on. more

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Instagram Photo of the Week

The Visit Panama City Beach IRONMAN Florida returned in November for its 25th year, with more than 2,000 registered athletes. Organizers announced a five-year extension | Instagram | X | Facebook LinkedIn | YouTube

Send us your photos! Send them directly to us or use #sportsdestinations in your posts. Select photos will be presented on, SDM Blitz and in the latest issues of Sports Destination Management magazine. Use #sportsdestinations via X or Instagram

Instagram Photo of the Week
Read the latest issue of Sports Destination Management

November/December 2023 logo

November/December 2023

We're in the homestretch of the year, and that brings us, once again, to our awards issue. The 2023 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism (who collectively brought in nearly $1 billion), are not only a great refresher course on all of the reasons we do what we do in this industry, they're an inspiration to persevere and innovate. Together, event owners show us not just power and strength but determination and resourcefulness. It is, after all, with all of these qualities that economies benefit, memories are made and champions are born. more

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Last word...

"Without goals, training has no direction."

~ Natalie Coughlin, American swimmer and twelve-time Olympic medalist

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