Sports tourism is a billion-dollar industry, with cities and towns around the world competing to host major events and attract fans. While big cities like New York and Los Angeles often get the spotlight for high-profile events like the Super Bowl, smaller markets also have a lot to offer.
Recent research by Sports Business Journal has identified four underappreciated markets that are worth keeping an eye on in the world of sports tourism. These four destinations include Salem, Virginia, Houston, Texas, Greensboro, North Carolina, and Louisville, Kentucky.
The City of Salem is preparing to celebrate its 100th NCAA championship this year, while Houston has seen recent success in attracting events and visitors thanks to its growing sports scene. Greensboro is living up to its reputation as “Tournament Town” by hosting a variety of events, while Louisville is seeing an increase in events coinciding with upgraded venues.
City and state funds are playing a crucial role in attracting sports events and fans to these destinations. In addition, a deal with the PGA Tour aims to bring more visitors to South Carolina and put them on course for major sports events. Overall, the pursuit of major events is an important aspect of sports tourism and has economic benefits for cities and states alike.