Sports tourism has become an essential part of the global economy, with various forms and experiences available. From attending a weekend tournament to flying with sports equipment or watching a hometown team play an away game, there is something for everyone. Despite big cities often being associated with major events like the Super Bowl, smaller markets are also competing for thousands of other events every year.
According to Sports Business Journal, four underrated markets are emerging as major players in the industry: Salem, Virginia, Houston, Texas, Greensboro, North Carolina, and Louisville, Kentucky. These cities offer unique experiences that have helped them attract major events and fans from around the world.
The City of Salem in Virginia is preparing to host its 100th NCAA championship this year. Houston has recently won several event bids and is seeing a growing tourism market thanks to its vibrant sports scene. Greensboro is living up to its reputation as “Tournament Town” by hosting a variety of events throughout the year. Louisville has seen an increase in events coinciding with upgraded venues that have helped boost its local economy.
In addition to city and state funds supporting sports tourism efforts, partnerships with organizations such as the PGA Tour are also helping attract major events to these destinations. The pursuit of major sporting events is crucial for cities and states seeking economic growth and job creation opportunities. Overall, sports tourism offers numerous benefits for both communities and visitors alike.