Sports tourism is a global business that creates jobs, stimulates local economies and benefits communities by creating positive economic impact through hosting sports events: in 2019, sports tourism generated $45.1B in economic impact in destinations around the United States. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, sports commissions and sports-focused destinations should look for creative ways to take advantage of the post-pandemic momentum, not just in the events they host, but in their funding sources.
This white paper outlines Tourism Improvement Districts (TIDs) as the next frontier for sports tourism, as these special self-assessments on tourism-related businesses generate dedicated revenue to bid for, host, and market sports events. Included are examples of how destinations of all sizes are currently using TID funding to support sports tourism efforts, including bidding for and hosting sports events as well as building and enhancing sports facilities in their communities. By looking beyond traditional bed taxes to sustainable funding sources such as TIDs, sports commissions and sports-focused destinations will emerge more competitive in the new age of sports tourism.