Amateur Update: Tournaments fill hotel rooms, and more

Each year we tally up the numbers of visitors for all the amateur sporting events. These numbers are based on hotel rooms consumed, event ticket sales and team/athlete participation. Once again, basketball leads the way with 5,700 consumed hotel rooms in 2012. But wrestling is right on their heels with 5640. Let's look at the numbers.

Basketball numbers are driven by the annual RCYBA boys and girls youth tournaments held in early March. These two events bring over 500 teams to town for a long weekend of exciting basketball in back-to-back weekends.

Wrestling is driven by several large tournaments including the 1600 participant MN USA Youth State Folkstyle Championship and the Northern Youth Wrestling Association (NYWA) team and individual state championships. 2012 also saw The Clash High School Dual bring in teams from across the country as did the National Junior College Championship as it returned to Rochester.

The biggest mover in 2012 with an increase of nearly 2,000 more room nights was volleyball as the expansion of the National Volleyball Center not only added additional courts, but continues to grow in appeal to volleyball programs across the Midwest. All nine volleyball tournaments we are involved in fill up early with teams from all over the region, including Canada. We hope to add more volleyball events in the future.

So how do you put a number to the economic impact these events generate? That is a question that is difficult to confidently answer. Studies show on average the overnight sports family spends over $200 on all aspects of their stay. This includes food/beverage, hotels, shopping, travel costs, tickets and more. Searches on the internet will provide you with a variety of studies and figures. We prefer not try to put a dollar amount to it.


However, if you are a parent paying all the costs of a family weekend at a tournament, you are already aware of the spending that goes on. It is a key social aspect of families today and they spend money!

Other sports do very well in Rochester too. Hockey continues to grow with a recorded 4,011 room nights in 2012. Softball, baseball and swimming are also hosting events that generate huge numbers.

While these numbers are interesting to reflect – it is also rewarding to know our city plays host to a lot of good clean fun that athletes and families enjoy with amateur sport competition. We are fortunate to have them doing so in our community – and benefitting from it economically.

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