From Triathlons to Powerlifting competitions, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports has hosted nearly every type of sporting event imaginable. Their success was recognized at this year’s Symposium naming them the Sports Tourism Organization of the Year.
“As a sports commission, we don’t approach building relationships and businesses with awards in mind; we work hard to invite and welcome athletes, families, and fans to Alabama’s beaches,” said Beth Gendler, Vice President of Sales for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission. “We were against some huge competition for sports tourism organization of the year, which just adds fuel to our fire.”
Many wonder how they can follow the lead of this incredible sports commission, so we asked their Communications and Marketing Specialist, Ally Mills Dorrough if she had any wisdom to share or things that set the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach area apart from others. Here are a few pointe...
A small town in Indiana finds their focus after the construction of Grand Park: youth sports.
According to an article published by the ABC 10 news, the population in Westfield doubles with families traveling in from across the country to play competitive sports at Grand Park. The facilities were built in June 2014 and have dozens of soccer fields and baseball diamonds.
This massive multi-use sporting arena required an investment of $85 million, but now, only a few years later, it has seen over a $700 million impact in the surrounding areas. Local businesses are springing up all around due to the massive amount of traffic in Grand Park.
Other towns may host one major league event and bring in a lot of tourism once. Many towns are considering shifting their focus to youth tournaments for a more steady stream of tourism due to the lead of Westfield, IN.
Congratulations to the Hamilton County Sports Authority and all your success in Grand Park.
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Sports ETA needs you. We’re looking for engaged members to volunteer their time and resources to be a part of a Sports ETA committee, and the deadline to apply is coming up quick. Participating on a committee allows you to contribute to the decision-making that positions Sports ETA as the most valuable resource available for sports events and tourism professionals.
You are probably asking yourself what is the commitment to be a committee member. Each committee has a conference call six to 12 times a year. Each call runs 30 minutes to an hour. And of course, you must be a current Sports ETA member to apply.
There are 10 different committees charged with different responsibilities like assisting with the planning of yearly events, mentoring the newest members of Sports ETA, or developing education sessions to help grow members' skills and much more. Check out all the committees available here. You have until July 31 to apply.
Sports ETA is driven by these committe...
Omaha Sports Commission is starting to prepare for the Olympic-qualifying Swim Trials, which will happen in June next year. This eight-day event brings in thousands of people from every state hoping to see their locals make it to the next level.
Next summer will mark Omaha’s fourth consecutive time hosting this event. Based on the 2016 statistics published in an article from the Omaha World Herald, organizers expect to sell out the 100,000 square-foot CHI Health Center for every meet and to bring in more than $74 million in tourism.
• 1,500 swimmers competed in the 2016 Trials and similar numbers are expected to compete in 2020, making it the largest and most exciting swimming event in the world.
• Fans booked more than 23,000 hotel room nights in 2016, ate tens of thousands of meals at local restaurants, generated millions of dollars of merchandise sales and visited numerous area attractions.
• All eight nights of the Trials were broadcas...
Thanks to our video booth sponsor, Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge for capturing what sports mean to our president and CEO, Al Kidd.
"Sports are a way to unite a community..." Kidd said, "In most communities, sports become the fiber of the community."
From The Pulse…
The Pulse is a research initiative led by Sports ETA to gauge the interest and thoughts of the sports events and tourism industry on critical issues and trends.
The temperature is rising around the country, and along with the longer nights comes one of the busiest times of the year for Sports ETA members. We wanted to know what's causing you some summertime blues and what deserves celebration. Take a look at what Sports ETA members had to say - The Pulse v.4 Summertime Blues Recap.
The Pulse v.5
One industry challenge identified by respondents is athlete safety. We've recently partnered with the U.S. Center for SafeSport to provide access to training for our members and their constituents. Take The Pulse v.5 today!
Cleveland is in the middle of hosting MLB’s All-Star Week. The five-day event has featured concerts, the Celebrity Softball Game, a 5K, the Home Run Derby, and still to come is the big All-Star game. With all these events, Cleveland is expected to see more than just the 35,041 people Progressive Park holds.
Greater Cleveland Sports Commission President and CEO David Gilbert told Forbes, “We know people will split up and go to different events. Not everyone who attends the All-Star Game will also attend the Home Run Derby, Futures Game or celebrity softball game. There’s also the Red Carpet All-Star Parade. People will come to town just to be a baseball tourist even if they don’t have a ticket for the game.”
As you can imagine, this is going to be a big boost for Cleveland. The All-Star weekend is expected to produce an estimated $65 million alone. That’s a good return on Cleveland’s investment since, according to Forbes, hotel capacity ha...
Have you heard? Sports ETA is teaming up with the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending all forms of abuse in sport. The critical resources on abuse prevention training the Center provides are now being offered to Sports ETA members. It’s another great benefit we are excited to pass along to you.
As a Sports ETA member, you have access to the awareness and prevention SafeSport Trained online course at a 10% discount. The 90-minute training covers mandatory reporting, sexual misconduct awareness, and emotional and physical misconduct. The Center’s SafeSport Trained course is a small investment that will set your leadership and organization apart from your competition.
“We’re grateful for the U.S. Center for SafeSport and this new partnership,” said Al Kidd, President and CEO of the Sports Events and Tourism Association. “Bringing these tools to our members is crucial to help end abuse in the sports world. It’s...
Providence, Rhode Island is a place where history and culture go hand in hand. It’s a town that has something for everyone, which is one of the many reasons Sports ETA 4S Summit is headed there October 8-10.
Whether you are registered yet or not, we want to help you get the most out of your trip. You may be coming in early, or staying an extra day, or just want to plan something for your evening off. With help from our friends at Rhode Island Sports Commission, here are 10 things to do around Providence.
WaterFire – A multi-sensory experience created by local artist Barnaby Evans, WaterFire has drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city. The event features nearly 100 bonfires that seem to float gently through Providence’s three rivers. The smell of aromatic wood smoke, flickering firelight, and enchanting music add to the mystique. Waterfire.org
Walking Tours – Providence’s architectural treasures and rich histo...
There are a plethora of news-worthy happenings in sport lately. The NBA draft, Women's World Cup, the announcement of the 2026 Olympic Games locations in Italy, and most importantly, the Sandlot-style adults and kiddo baseball game that's about to go down at Casa de Stoll tomorrow night with good friends, ribs, and, of course, s'mores.
But chances are, in the clutter of happenings, you may have also picked up this viral video that emerged last week from a little league game right here in Colorado:
As a sports nerd, this behavior is absolutely maddening. It runs in direct contrast to all the reasons sport is good. The work ethic, teamwork, sportsmanship, humility, perseverance, practice, dedication and so, so much more.
On the flip side of the less-than-shining Colorado video, you may have seen this clip from an interview with University of Michigan Head Baseball Coach, Erik Bakich, when asked about the makeup of his College World Series appear...