Warren County Sports, a division of the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been named the Sports Tourism Organization of the Year by the Sports Events and Tourism Association.
Sports ETA, an industry group consisting of more than 600 member organizations and 2,400 sporting event professionals, recognized the WCCVB on May 10 in its “population under 500,000″ category.
The association praised Warren County – a county of 240,000 people – for “hosting events in 14 different sports in 2022, driving more than $88 million in economic impact and generating more than 100,000 nights at local hotels.”
Among the 90+ total events hosted by the WCCVB last year were the World Ultimate Club Championships – a tournament that brought 128 teams from 31 different countries to the region in July.
“The mission of the WCCVB has always been to drive economic development through tourism, and sports tourism is an absolutely integral part of that mission,” said Phillip S. Smith, president & CEO of the WCCVB. “The work our sports team does brings hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world to Warren County each year, and those people spend millions at our local attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels. Our sports team truly does an amazing job, and we couldn’t be happier to see the team honored by Sports ETA.”
Ben Huffman, WCCVB director of sports enterprises, said a large part of his organization’s success comes from the support it receives from its local community.
“We are blessed to have a sports tourism community in Warren County that supports what we do and helps us succeed in driving impact through sports,” Huffman said. “Last year, 2022, was an amazing year for sports tourism in Warren County and we look forward to building on that success in the year ahead.”
More than half of the events Warren County Sports hosted in 2022 were held at the Warren County Sports Park, a 128-acre destination sports facility owned and operated by the WCCVB.
In 2022, its second full year of operation, the sports park welcomed nearly 1 million people, hosted 51 events, filled 67,400 hotel room nights, and generated an economic impact of $67.1 million.
Warren County Sports plans to host more than 100 events in 2023, including the USA Ultimate College National Championships and the Big East Baseball Championships.
The sports park is undergoing an expansion project which will increase the number of events hosted. Later this year, the organization will be installing two new synthetic turf fields and two new practice fields at the sports park.