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.

Lee County to host Roy Hobbs 2016 President’s Day Sunshine Classic

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Roy Hobbs 2 Lee County is hosting the 2016 Roy Hobbs Sunshine Classic at the Lee County Player Development Complex and historic Terry Park. The President’s Day 50+ and 60+ Divisions will take place Feb. 11 through Feb. 15, followed by Family Ties, Veterans 35+ and Masters 45+ Divisions Feb. 18 through Feb. 21.

Nearly 200 players and a dozen teams participate in divisions for the 50-and-over crowd and 60-and-over. Former Heisman Trophy winner and Boston College alum Doug Flutie played second base for the Americans squad in the 50-and-over division, which also featured former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee, who played for the Bahama Breeze in previous Sunshine Classics.

Last year’s tournament generated approximately $400,000 in direct spending for Lee County, including roughly 1,200 hotel room nights and $6,000 in resort tax collections, accordiRoy Hobbs 3ng to Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development.

“We are very happy to be back in Lee County,” said Tom Giffen, president of Roy Hobbs Baseball. “We appreciate the hospitality in a community that has been incredibly welcoming and provided great venues and professional services from grounds crews to hotels to vendor services.”

Operated by Lee County Parks & Recreation, Lee County’s five county-owned baseball complexes play host to more than 200 days of amateur baseball tournaments a year when they aren’t being used for spring trainRoy Hobbs 1ing games. The estimated economic impact of these events is $50 million annually.

Named after fictional baseball hero Roy Hobbs as depicted in the book, “The Natural,” by Bernard Malmud, the Roy Hobbs Baseball’s annual Sunshine Classic in Fort Myers has expanded to include amateur player divisions for ages 18 and up, with divisions up to ages 75 and older.

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.