Economic Impact: The World’s Premier Sports Destination

The Sunshine State celebrates sunny days, shimmering beaches, Mickey Mouse, rocket launches… and sports. Experiencing ideal year-round weather, incredible athletic infrastructures and talented workforces; Florida is where the world cheers and competes in baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, tennis, NASCAR and water activities. Whether to witness the winning home run, three-point basket, touchdown, hole-in-one, field goal, ace, lap or perfect wave; tourists flock to Florida to experience, engage and emulate sports history.

Business leaders realize more is at play than just a love of sports. The economic, social and cultural phenomenon associated with the continuous development of sports tourism advances, enhances and builds a breeding ground for entrepreneurs. Responding to this demand and formulating innovative business decisions regarding superior facilities, amenities and services is big business for companies, small and large.

Creating a significant economic footprint, Florida supports 27 sports commissions hosting local, regional, state, national and international events contributing to the continuous recruitment, retention, and expansion of business enterprises. In 2016, professional, collegiate and amateur sports generated $57.4 billion, produced 580,000 jobs and accommodated 16 million sporting enthusiasts; representing 15 percent of Florida’s tourism economy. Combined, these sporting franchises and associated businesses increased economic development, social-cultural value and quality of life for Florida’s residents.

Just examine the “Tebow Effect” and its influence on the St. Lucie Mets and Treasure Coast. In 2017, baseball stadiums averaged an additional 2,788 fans per night when Tim Tebow played; a 181 percent increase. Tebow boosted St. Lucie’s revenue by more than $300,000 and is worth $1.36 million in additional revenue for the league’s road teams.

The sports industry ensures visitors fill hotels, malls, restaurants, and attractions. Business leaders recognize the benefits and economic developments attached to it. Whether attending Spring Training, watching NCAA football or playing golf; Florida offers a perfect atmosphere for sporting events and activities, while facilitating economic development and quality of life.