SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -- Sarasota County is seeing a lot of green when it comes to sporting events. These events generated an economic impact of more than $178,000,000 in 2016, that's a 23% increase compared to the year before.
"Of course we use the beach as a primary factor when telling people about our area as to why they should bring their event here," said Rob Wells, Director for the Sarasota County Sports Commission. "You know when the event concludes on the field, they can head out to the beach to see a gorgeous sunset.
The Sarasota County Sports Commission hosted 135 events in 2016 which is 20 percent more than 2015. Having the Orioles spring training in Sarasota is a huge draw. The biggest money maker though in 2016 was the 32nd annual Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix which brought in more than 37 million dollars.
"It makes me feel really good," said Lucy Nicandri, the Festival Director for the Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix. "One, a charity is running the event and proceeds benefit a charity, but what's great is year after year we've seen the economic impact increase."
Rowing events at Nathan Benderson Park also always bring in big numbers. Max Winitz with the World Rowing Championships tells us this year's event in September is expected to have an economic impact of 25 million dollars.
"We're expecting 40,000 spectators from 60 plus countries," said Winitz, a Media and Public Relations Manager for the 2017 World Rowing Championships. "We of course are expecting a large audience from around the region, around the state, but we know those stands are going to be full of international spectators."
Here's a list of some of the sporting events which had the biggest economic impact in Sarasota County for 2016, and a list of some of the biggest sporting events for 2017:
The 32nd Annual Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix held on Lido Beach generated an economic impact of $37,165,654.00.
US Soccer Nike International Friendlies held at the Premier Sports Campus generated an economic impact of $9,114,439.00.
Venice Equestrian Tour held at Fox Lea Farms generated an economic impact of $4,476,025.00.
USA Field Hockey President’s Day Cup held at the Premier Sports Campus generated an economic impact of $4,186,452.00.
United States Australian Football League National Championships held at the Premier Sports Campus generated an economic impact of $1,523,840.00.
GameDay USA Junior All-American Games held at Ed Smith Stadium generated an economic impact of $1,209,127.00.
Notable events for 2017 and beyond are as follows:
USA Field Hockey Winter Showcase, February
USBC Florida State Championships, May-July
SSA BMX State Championship, May
US Rowing Youth National Championships, June
Wilson Premier Baseball Championship East, June-July
USA Volleyball Beach Junior National Championship, July
2017 World Rowing Championships, September
USA Ultimate Club National Championships, October
NCAA Rowing National Championship, May of 2018
FISA Masters Regatta, September of 2018
World Sailing Conference, November of 2018