Economic impact of local sporting events
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I have learned much since becoming mayor and have been exposed to many great events and promotions. I have become particularly interested in the many regional and state sporting events and competitions held here in Cape Girardeau. As I reflect back over the last 18 months and look to the near future, I am pleased and excited about how these events impact our Cape Girardeau economy.
I recently contacted Chuck Martin, executive director of the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau, to get his input on current and future sporting events hosted by our community.
For the first time in more than 75 years, Southeast Missouri will host a Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) state championship. From Nov. 3 to 5, the Show Me Center will host the Missouri State High School volleyball championships. In addition, Dalhousie Golf Club will host several classes of the state golf championships next spring. Cape Girardeau also hosted in August, for the second of four years, the Missouri Special Olympics State Outdoor Championships. These events will bring hundreds if not thousands of visitors to our city.
Cape Girardeau also hosts many other regional amateur sporting events including, but not limited to, baseball, softball and basketball tournaments. Amateur sporting events typically generate approximately $110 per person per day according to Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates. In addition to athletes and coaches, friends and family also travel to watch the competitions. One regional weekend softball or baseball tournament with 25 to 30 teams competing can bring more than a thousand people to our city. Those visitors are staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, filling their tanks at our gas stations and shopping in our stores.
Cape Girardeau is a great sports market. We were recently featured in a two-page spread in Sports Destination Management Magazine. The article was titled "Cape Girardeau, Mo. The city of infinite possibility." The sports travel writer, Juli Anne Patty, from Atlanta actually came to Cape Girardeau to tour our facilities and to visit firsthand with those interviewed for the article. Our great facilities make a huge difference as we recruit events to Cape Girardeau. The Convention and Visitors Bureau uses this article and our facility guide as it promotes our city throughout the Midwest.
I want to take this opportunity to thank many people for making all of these programs successful, including: our Convention and Visitors Bureau led by executive director Chuck Martin, our city parks and recreation staff led by Julia Thompson, Scott and Penny Williams, and all of the many volunteers within our city who give their time in assuring the success of each event. My thanks to all.
Harry E. Rediger is the mayor of Cape Girardeau.