Red Sox, Twins draw record number of fans during Spring Training 2016

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Florida’s Spring Training Baseball reached a record high per game attendance this season, with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins ranking No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, for largest crowds during the 2016 Major League Baseball Spring Training Games. Florida hosts 15 Florida Grapefruit League teams, and Lee County is the Spring Training home to the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park and the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex.

In 2016, the Boston Red Sox played 15 games at JetBlue Park with a total attendance of 149,397, with an average of 9,960 attendees per game. The largest crowd tallied 10,103 on March 10, when the Red Sox played the Minnesota Twins.

At Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex, the Minnesota Twins also played 15 games in 2016, and the total attendance was 121,005, with an average per game of 8,067 attendees. Their largest crowd peaked at 9,109, when the Twins took on the New York Yankees on Sunday, March 20.

Attendance figures are compiled by the Florida Sports Foundation from daily box scores of games, between Major League teams played in the State of Florida, and verified by each of the 15 teams in the Florida Grapefruit League.

The estimated total economic impact for the Red Sox and Twins spring training seasons in Lee County is $48 million annually. That’s according to a 2009 study, the most recent for which such Lee County data is available.

Lee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks & Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-5273 or visit www.leegov.com/sports.

Cape Coral BMX Eagle Classic returns to Lee County April 30 – May 1

Cape Coral BMX Race-Parker Trombley

Lee County will host the Cape Coral BMX Club’s Cape Coral BMX Eagle Classic April 30 through May 1 at the Strausser BMX Park, 1410 SW 6th Place in Cape Coral. Sanctioned by Florida BMX Association, this year’s event will be the fourth year held in Lee County, bringing a total of 800 riders to compete in Cape Coral, with 500 participants traveling to the area and 300 from Southwest Florida. The Cape Coral BMX Eagle Classic is free and open to spectators.
Cape Coral BMX-Parker Trombley

Last year’s event resulted in approximately 1,000 hotel room nights, $5,000 in resort tax and $300,000 in direct economic impact.

“This is a unique sporting opportunity for the Southwest Florida community to come out and enjoy, and we are looking forward to an exciting event,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development. “Our community is a great destination for a wide variety of sports activities and competitions, and the Cape Coral BMX Eagle Classic is a great example of the many spectacular events that are held right here in Lee County.”

Cape Coral BMX Track

Lee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementatCape Coral BMXion of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks & Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-5273 or visit www.leegov.com/sports.

 

Lee County to host 2016 Open Water Festival April 8-10 at Miromar Lakes

2015 Open Water Festival-5 Lee County will once again host the world’s top open water swimmers during the 2016 Open Water Festival at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club, to be held Friday, April 8, through Sunday, April 10. During the weekend event, open water swimmers will compete in the USA Swimming’s 2016 Open Water National Championships, vying for spots on the USA Swimming Open Water National Team, National Junior Team and Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) Open Water World Junior Championships Team.

The 2016 Open Water Festival will include events on all three days, utilizing Miromar Lakes’ 700-acre freshwater lake. The USA Swimming 2016 10K Open Water National Championships will be held Friday. Saturday’s events include youth 2.5K and 5K races, the Florida Swimming Open Water Championships, Local Swim Club All-Star Challenge, the Open Water Clinic, the Buddy Swim and the Crippen Mile. Sunday will feature the USA Swimming 2016 5K Open Water National Championships.

Last year’s tournament ge2015 Open Water Festival-4nerated about $200,000 in direct economic impact for Lee County, including roughly 800 hotel room nights and $4,500 in resort tax collections, according to Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development.

The 2016 Open Water Festival at Miromar Lakes will bring competitive swimmers from around the world to Lee County. Countries to be represented include Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, New Zealand, Tunisia, Germany and the United States. The international swimmers will compete in the 5K and 10K races, as well as the Crippen Mile.

“The 2016 Open Water Festival provides a great opportunity for athletes to showcase their talents as they compete against the world’s top open water swimmers,” said Dana Kasler, Director of Lee County Parks & Recreation. “Our department is excited to once again be a part of hosting this event and coo
rdinating all of the safety components for the festival. The county parks aquatics staff have worked closely with USA Swimming officials to establish the open water safety protocols and guidelines used nationally for many years.”  2015 Open Water Festival-1

Mielke said the return of the event to Lee County is a great way for locals and visitors to see impressive swimmers from around the world compete. “Competitions like the Open Water Festival raises national attention for Southwest Florida, providing our community the opportunity to become established as a popular destination for top-notch sporting events and competitions, and Miromar Lakes has been a great partner over the years to put our community on the map,” he said.

Miromar Lakes was first identified by USA Swimming in 2007 to host the Championship Trials due to its ideal climate and lake conditions that parallel the open water competition settings in Seville and Beijing. USA Swimming officials have called Miromar Lakes “The Best” location and amenities they have seen in their travels to races ar2015 Open Water Festival-3ound the world. Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club has received more than 150 local, regional, national and international awards including the Gold Award for #1 Community in the United States from the National Association of Home Builders and #1 Clubhouse in the United States.  Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club is the only community in the state of Florida to have won this prestigious award in the history of the NAHB National Awards program.

The 2016 Open Water Festival is open for spectators. For more information on the 2016 Open Water Festival, visit www.OpenWaterFestival.org. For more information on USA Swimming, visit www.USASwimming.org.

About Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club2015 Open Water Festival-2

Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club offers a 700-acre freshwater lake, three miles of private white sand beach, European-style spa with full-service salon, fitness center with personal training studio and aerobics room, 10,000 square foot zero-edge pool, two marinas, seven Har-Tru tennis courts, three restaurants and a dynamic social scene, all within one luxurious location.  Other amenities include concierge services and marine services. For the avid golfer, the Miromar Lakes Golf Club has the only Arthur Hills “Signature” Championship Golf Course in Southwest Florida, a 2015 Golfweek’s Best Residential Course of Distinction. Move-in ready and new construction homes are available for immediate purchase. New homes are available starting from $1 million to over $7 million. Visit Miromar Lakes, Florida, just north of Naples, at exit 123 off I-75. For more information, please contact the Sales Center at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club at 239-425-2340 or 877-809-9444, or online at: MiromarLakes.com.

About Lee County Sports Development

Lee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks & Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-5273 or visit www.leegov.com/sports.

Lee County to host 2016 USA Gymnastics-Florida Level 6, 9 and 10 State Championships March 18-20 at Lee County Civic Center

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Lee County will host the USA Gymnastics-Florida Level 6, 9 and 10 State Championships March 18-20 at Lee County Civic Center, located at 11831 Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers. The meet, sponsored by Lightning City Gymnastics and Cheerleading, will bring gymnasts from around the state to compete in Lee County.

Last year’s event attracted more than 2,000 sports visitors to Lee County, resulting in approximately 1,000 hotel room nights and approximately $400,000 in direct spending.

“We have had great success hosting USA Gymnastics-Florida competitions here in Lee County, and we look forward to offering another competitive meet for visitors and members of our community to enjoy,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development. “Competitions like the USA Gymnastics-Florida State Championships showcase all that Lee County has to offer, providing visitors the opportunity to learn more about our great community.”

The meet will be open to the public, with admission available at $15 per day for adults and $10 per day for children ages 5-12, cash only. Parking at the Lee County Civic Center is $5 per vehicle, per day. For more information on the event, visit www.lightningcity.com. For more information about USA Gymnastics-Florida, visit www.usagfl.org.

Lee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks & Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-5273 or visit www.leegov.com/sports.

 

Lee County to host 2015 Culligan City of Palms Classic basketball tournament Dec. 18 – 23

Lee County will once aCulligan City of Palms Classic-1gain host the 43rd annual Culligan City of Palms Classic high school basketball tournament Friday, Dec. 18 through Wednesday, Dec. 23 at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers. The six-day tournament will bring 26 teams from across the U.S. and Canada for a 35-game tournament.

The 2014 Culligan City of Palms Classic brought in a total of 3,780 hotel room nights, $1.1 million in direct visitor spending and $1.8 million in total economic impact in Lee County. The quality of teams and players in last year’s tournament garnered national sports attention for Lee County from well-known media outlets, incl
uding USA Today and ESPN. The popularity of the tournament has exposed Lee County to a large number of promCulligan City of Palms Classic-2inent NCAA Division I basketball coaches and programs, increasing opportunity for Lee County student-athletes to be seen.

“Tournaments like the Culligan City of Palms Classic raises the profile of our community, putting Southwest Florida on the map as an established destination for quality sportscompetitions,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development. “Not only are tournaments like this advantageous economically for Southwest Florida, but it also raises the quality of life for our local community by giving families the opportunity to take their children to see the very highest level of high school basketball in the country.”

A total of 51 Culligan City of Palms Classic veteran players are presently in the NBA, filling 11.3 percent of the current NBA roster. In total, 117 players have advanced to become current NCAA Power Seven Conference stars, with 67 athletes in last year’s NCAA tournament and 23 players in the Sweet 16. Seven athletes recently played in the 2015 McDonald’s All-American Game and nine players performed in the 2015 Jordan Brand Classic.

Those interested in attending the event are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as reserved seating for the tournament is sold out, and general admission tickets are available oCulligan City of Palms Classic-3 n a first come, first serve basis. Daily general admission tickets are available for $15, general admission tickets for all six tournament days are available for $85 and a six-day reserved parking pass can be purchased for $40. The ticket office at Bishop Verot High School will open one hour before the first game, each day of the tournament. For more information about the Culligan City of Palms Classic, or for the full game schedule, visit www.cityofpalmsclassic.com.

Lee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks & Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-2221 or visit www.leeparks.org.

Lee County to host USA Gymnastics-Florida State Championships Dec. 4-6 at Harborside Event Center

Lee County Sports Development Logo

Lee County will host the USA Gymnastics-Florida Level 4 and 5 State Championships Dec. 4-6 at Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers. The meet, sponsored by Lightning City Gymnastics and Cheerleading, will bring approximately 600 gymnasts from around the state to compete in Fort Myers.

Approximately 1,900 people, including gymnasts and their families, are expected to travel to Fort Myers for the meet, resulting in 800 hotel room nights and an estimated direct economic impact of $270,000 for Lee County.

The first competition session will begin at 6 p.m. on Dec. 4. On Dec. 5, competition sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 2:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. The tournament will conclude on Dec. 6 with competition sessions beginning at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. The meet will be open to the public, with admission available at $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 5-12, cash only. For more information on the event and for the full competition schedule, visit www.lightningcity.com. For more information about USA Gymnastics-Florida, visit www.usagfl.org.

Lee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks & Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-2221 or visit www.leeparks.org.

Gulf Coast Showcase Basketball Tournament returns to Germain Arena

Gulf Coast Showcase-2Lee County is hosting the Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena in Estero, bringing 16 college basketball teams from across the U.S. to compete in men’s and women’s brackets. The men’s tournament will take place Nov. 23 through Nov. 25, followed by the women’s tournament Nov. 27 through Nov. 29. All teams play three games in a tournament format with the respective champions crowned in the final game.

Gulf Coast Showcase-1

“This year’s Gulf Coast Showcase will present a variety of competitive basketball teams and impressive players for Lee County to enjoy, and we are excited to bring another great tournament to our community,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development. “With teams competing from across the U.S., this event will attract a great number of visitors and will generate national exposure for Southwest Florida.”

Last year’s tournament brought Lee County about $303,500 in direct spending, with $7,500 in bed tax collected and yielding roughly 1,070 room nights. The 2015 event is expected to bring a similar impact to Southwest Florida.

Gulf Coast Showcase-3

A total of 24 games will be played during the event, 12 for each tournament. There are two doubleheader sessions each day of each tournament, beginning at noon and 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by session or for the entire tournament, available at all Ticketmaster locations and the box office at Germain Arena. Per-session ticket prices begin at $10 and all-session tickets start at $74. For more information on the Gulf Coast Showcase, to purchase tickets or book hotel accommodations for both tournaments, visit gcs.bdglobalsports.com.

Gulf Coast Showcase-4

Lee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks & Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-2221 or visit www.leeparks.org.

North American Roller Hockey Championships return to Germain Arena July 15-26

2014 NARCh Finals Div. 1 Champions

Lee County Sports Development will host the North American Roller Hockey Championships (NARCh) East Coast Finals at Germain Arena July 15-26, 2015.  Lee County Sports Development estimates that 180 teams across North America will be traveling to Lee County for the event, including numerous teams from the Southwest Florida area. The event is free and open to the public.

For the first time, NARCh will conduct a West Coast Finals and an East Coast Finals.  Lee County Sports 2014 NARChDevelopment anticipates that the East Coast Finals will generate an estimated $3.4 million in direct economic impact and filling approximately 7,000 room nights. Lee County hosted last year’s NARCh Finals at Germain Arena and has hosted the event more times than any other city in the U.S. or Canada. The 2015 Finals will mark the seventh year the event has been held in Lee County.

“We are looking forward to this year’s NARCh competition and we know that it will bring a lot of fans to the Lee County area,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development. “This championship draws the attention of some of the most highly skilled players and teams from North America and we know that our community members and local economy will benefit greatly.”

NARCh is considered one of the best inline hockey competitions in the world and draws the attention of fans worldwide.  The NARCh Pro Division displays the best players in incline hockey and awards $20,000 in prize money to the champions. The competition offers teams for men and women, with age groups ranging from six and under to 45 and over. A recap of the event will be showcased on Universal Sports Network in August, featuring the NARCh Pro Championship Game, highlights and interviews.

Based out of Encinitas, California, NARCh was founded in 1994 and held its first finals in St Louis, Missouri with 39 teams.  For more information about NARCh, visit http://narch.com/.

2014 NARCh ChampionsLee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks and Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-344-5201 or visit www.leeparks.org.

Free admission, public invited to attend Perfect Game 2015 National Showcase June 17-22, top scouting event for professional baseball

Lee County Sports Development Logo

Major League Baseball to broadcast Saturday, June 20 game from JetBlue Park

Lee County will host the Perfect Game 2015 National Showcase from June 17-22 at the JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. The event is free and open to the public. Perfect Game National Showcase, sponsored by Nike, is one of the premier scouting events for young players in amateur baseball. More than 1,600 players who have attended past events have gone on to be selected in Major League Baseball amateur player drafts.

On Saturday, June 20 at 1 p.m., Major League Baseball’s MLB.com will record the game for broadcast on MLB.com on Sunday, June 21 at 8 p.m. EST.

Lee County anticipates approximately 500 college and professional scouts and the nation’s top professional sports agents to be present during the showcase. The top 50 players at the Perfect Game National Showcase will be selected to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park in San Diego on Aug. 16.

The National Showcase features 320 incoming high school seniors, June 17-22. This event is estimated to generate $725,000 in direct economic impact, $8,910 in resort tax and will fill approximately 1,800 hotel rooms.

“The National Showcase is a great opportunity for fans to come out and watch some of the most talented up-and-coming players in baseball,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development. “This is one of the most heavily followed tournaments by college coaches and scouts, and players looking for the highest level of exposure. In addition, this event brings a large number of visitors to Lee County and we are excited to see the positive economic impact that the 2015 Showcase will bring.”

Game and practice times vary. For more information, visit Perfect Game at www.perfectgame.org.

About Lee County Sports Development

Created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, the Lee County Sports Development office is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-LCSD (5273) or visit www.LeeCountySports.org.

Amateur sports off to strong start in first quarter 2014 for Lee County

Posted May 15th, 2014 by Priority Marketing and filed in Events, Media Relations, News

Roy Hobbs 2012 photo 2Lee County hosted 23 amateur sports during the first quarter of 2014, driving 15,136 sports visitors to Lee County. During the three-month period from January through March 2014, amateur sports generated 18,377 hotel room nights sold and $11,474,346 in direct and indirect economic impact.

The events included the Roy Hobbs Classic, Gene Cusic Classic, USA Gymnastics Florida, Perfect Game World Showcase, Bob Wagner’s Wood Bat Classic, Baseball International Showcase, Collegiate winter swimming, Minnesota Twins and Red Sox Fantasy Camps yielded the highest economic impact for Lee County. Events were held throughout Lee County including Lee County’s five county-owned baseball complexes, operated by Lee County Parks and Recreation. Lee County’s baseball complexes host more than 200 days of amateur baseball tournaments a year when they aren’t being used for spring training games. The estimated economic impact of these events is $50 million annually.

“We had a very busy and successful first quarter, and April and May are shaping up to be record-setting months with more than 45 amateur sports events taking place in Lee County during the two-month period,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director, Lee County Sports Development. “Florida continues to be a No. 1 sports destination.”

Created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, the Lee County Sports Development office is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-344-5201or visit www.leeparks.org.