Sports brought in $6,112,597 of the total $9,334,215. “We really had a good year with bringing in more events, particularly with Barron Stadium and with tennis,” said Chris Cannon, director of communications for the Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Tennis accounted for the majority of our sports economic impact.”
Copies of the GRCVB 2010 Annual Report can be picked up in the Rome-Floyd Visitor Center or found online at www.RomeGeorgia.org.
The combined proceeds from tennis events such as the Georgia Challenger and the Georgia Jr. Open brought $1.22 million. The NAIA championship game played in December at Barron Stadium brought in approximately $1.16 million.
A basketball tournament organized by the Southern States Athletic Basketball Conference, to which Shorter University belongs, brought in $265,990. The GRCVB predicts this year’s March 2-5 tournament at The Forum civic center will attract 2,700 visitors.
Cannon said this report is a preliminary version of an expanded report that will be out in the summer. He said they get the numbers for the report by taking the amount of people in town for a specific event and calculating that with how much the state estimates the average person spends while they are in town for an event.
“One of our objectives for the coming year is breaking into new meetings market,” Cannon said. “We’re focusing a lot on sports now because that is where we are so successful. Our location plays a huge part in it.”
Cannon said Rome’s centralized location in the South makes it an ideal host location for collegiate events such as lacrosse, soccer and softball as well as league sports such as tennis.
However, the city’s lack of hotels downtown is one of the factors that prevent Rome from attracting more conventions and meetings, Cannon said. Those events accounted for 16.76 percent of the economic impact at approximately $1.57 million.