May 22, 2015
FSF awards five Florida Sports Commissions for their efforts
FORT LAUDERDALE – The Florida Sports Foundation (FSF), the state’s leading sports promotion and development organization, presented five awards to recognize Florida communities and sports commissions for their outstanding efforts in sports tourism in the State of Florida.
The awards were presented at the FSF’s annual Sports Summit, held this year in Fort Lauderdale. The awards presented included:
Venue of the Year: Nathan Benderson Park – Sarasota County Sports Commission
Best Awarded Event of the Year – Large Market: 2017 Major League Baseball All Star Game Week – Miami-Dade Sports Commission
Best Event of the Year – Small Market: HITS Ocala Winter Horse Show Jumping Circuit – Ocala/Marion County Sports Commission
Best Event of the Year – Mid Market: United States Fastpitch Association (USFA) World Series – Visit Panama City Beach
Best Event of the Year – Large Market: 2014 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Girls Junior National Volleyball Championship – Central Florida Sports Commission, Orlando
“Each of these awards were earned through the hard work of the sports commissions staffs who work tirelessly to enhance their local communities through sports,” said FSF President John Webb. “The 27 Florida Sports Commissions bring over 2,500 sporting events to the state annually and provide a significant impact to the Florida tourism industry and economy.”
Venue of the Year
Nathan Benderson Park – Sarasota County Sports Commission
In 2014, Benderson Park was the site for nearly 50 events hosting 50,000 athletes and spectators (over 25,000 from out of state) generating more than 11,800 room nights with an economic impact of over $12 million in to the Sarasota County region.
The most significant events secured for the coming years at Nathan Benderson Park include the 2015 US Rowing Youth National Championships, 2017 World Rowing Championships and the 2018 NCAA DI, II and III Rowing National Championships.
The park also is a source of local pride for the Sarasota community and is a popular place for locals to walk, run, paddle and cycle.
Best Awarded Event of the Year – Large Market
2017 Major League Baseball All Star Game Week – Miami-Dade Sorts Commission
The Miami Marlins were awarded the 2017 Major League Baseball All Star Game in what will be the 25th Anniversary Year of the Club. The full event (July 7-11, 2017) includes the Futures Game, and Home Run Derby. MLB also will have
a FanFest, which will take place in Miami Beach. The 88th Annual Major League Baseball All Star Game is expected to bring more than $36 in economic impact and 70,000 room nights to Miami-Dade County.
Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred cited Miami’s global reach as a plus for the community. “I believe this event will be an excellent way for Major League Baseball to emphasize the global nature of our game. We understand that Miami is the gateway to Latin America and we’re going to be here to celebrate our global reach.”
Best Event of the Year – Small Market
HITS Ocala Winter Horse Show Jumping Circuit – Ocala/Marion County Sports Commission
Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) was held between January 14 and March 23, 2015 and brought 54,800 participants/competitors and 20,000 spectators to Ocala/Marion County. Those totals included many of the nation’s most accomplished riders and horses, who accounted for over 84,000 room nights and generated more than $94 million in economic impact. More than $84 million of the economic impact came from out of state.
Best Event of the Year – Mid Market
United States Fastpitch Association (USFA) World Series – Visit Panama City
The USFA World Series was held in consecutive weeks in July, 2014 with 8, 10 and 12 year old divisions playing July 6-12 and 14, 16 and 18 year old divisions playing July 13-19, at Frank Brown Park.
A total of 546 teams (98% from outside of Florida) played over the two weeks generating more than 30,000 room nights and $17 million in economic impact. Traveling parties of the 546 teams averaged 46 people per team.
Best Event of the Year – Large Market
2014 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Girls Junior National Volleyball Championship – Central Florida Sports Commission, Orlando
This is recognized as the largest youth volleyball event in the world hosted by the AAU, ESPN Wide World of Sports, the Orange County Convention Center, the Central Florida Sports Commission and Visit Orlando. The event featured over 72,000 attendees, who generated over 80,000 room nights between June 16-24, 2014 and brought more than $30 million in out-of-state economic impact to the area.
Approximately 2,300 teams are expected to compete in the 2015 event.
For more information about the Florida Sports Foundation and the 27 Sports Commissions of Florida, please visit www.flasports.com.
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