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 Sports Development scores another record-setting year for sports tourism

2015 Roy Hobbs World SeriesLee County Sports Development hosted 115 amateur sporting events in 2015, marking its second-highest year on record and bringing 148,073 sports visitors to Lee County last year. During 2015, the events resulted in 152,400 hotel room nights sold and $61,465,750 in direct visitor spending. The figures were announced Thursday at the Lee County Tourist Development Council monthly meeting.

“Lee County continues to be a leading destination for world-class sports,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director, Lee County Sports Development. “Once again, we hosted a record number of events last year, and that continues to keep our facilities and maintenance team from Lee County Parks & Recreation extremely busy, yet they continue to keep our fields and complexes in top quality condition. We are grateful for their commitment to making Lee County one of the most desirable locations for amateur and professional sporting events.”

Among the 2015 highlights:

  • To accommodate its West Coast divisions, the North American Roller Hockey Championships split its championships into west and east coast events, causing a drop in July sports tourism numbers over last year when the entire event was hosted in Lee County. Still, July 2015 events resulted in 29,117 room nights sold.
  • Perfect Game in October was a major player in setting an October all-time high with 16,206 room nights.
  • November was the second-highest hitting month in terms of room nights, event attendance and spending. The Roy Hobbs World Series and Senior Softball Winter Nationals, as well as a number of other amateur events, resulted in 23,569 room nights sold and $11,490,049 in direct economic impact.
  • In December, Everblades Youth Hockey Invitational, the Perfect Game Underclass Showcase, City of Palms Basketball Classic and USA Gymnastics brought in a strong showing of visitors. However, the Florida State Senior Games were on a mandated two-year rotation, and their absence in Lee County in December led to a decrease in spending and room nights over December 2015.

“With NARCh’s east-west split and Senior Games on a two-year mandated rotation, we experienced a very slight decrease in overall spending and room nights in 2015 compared to 2014,” Mielke said.

The Florida State S2015 Open Water Festivalenior Games’ event regulations allow communities to serve as a host location for only two consecutive years at a time, and as Lee County held the Florida State Senior Games in 2013 and 2014, it was unable to host the event in 2015. Lee County anticipates the return of the Florida State Senior Games, following the mandated two-year hiatus. “We look forward to the return of Florida State Senior Games and bringing additional events to Lee County in the coming year,” Mielke said.

Operated by Lee County Parks and 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 training games.

In 2014 – the largest year for sports tourism in Lee County – Lee County hosted 113 amateur sports events, bringing 158,194 sports visitors, 159,530 hotel room nights sold and $63 million in direct visitor spending to Lee County.

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.