The rise of sports tourism in Myrtle Beach

Grand Strand

City officials say sports tourism helps the City’s economy during the shoulder months.

Of the $137 million dollars sports tourism brought in during 2018, $12.7 went to local governments and $2.4 came to the City of Myrtle Beach. Spokesperson for the City says the revenue for renting facilities for events is a fraction of what is earned.

“Teams come, stay in the hotels, eat in the restaurants; so we get the revenue back from the money they spend in the local economy,” Mark Kruea said. “It comes back to us in sales, taxes, hospitality fees and accommodations taxes.”

Baseball brought in $49 million dollars during 2018, the most of any sport. The second-highest revenue sport was fast-pitch softball, which brought $23 million to the City.

In addition to adding and renovating current facilities, Mark Kruea said the City hopes to host more regional and national events.

“In 2016 we had a national junior track and field event, we had a large regional archery event and that is coming back in 2019 as well,” Kruea said. “Anytime you can bring three or four thousand people here for an event, thats a significant economic impact.”

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