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Second annual Snowbird Baseball Classic generates an estimated $3.1 million for Charlotte County’s economy

By Staff | Apr 22, 2010

The Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau released Thursday the economic impact data for the second annual Snowbird Baseball Classic held February 28 – March 20 at various ballparks throughout Charlotte County.
The collegiate tournament generated an estimated $3.1 million in direct expenditures as a result of 3,243 out-of-state participants, spectators and members of the media who stayed an average of 7 nights in area accommodations. Compared with the inaugural tournament in 2009, this reflects an increase of 25 percent in direct expenditures and increase of 34 percent in visitors while average length of stay decreased by almost half a day. These baseball visitors generated an estimated $188,094 in state sales tax revenue, $31,349 in local tax revenue and $43,724 in tourist development tax revenue.
“The success of the inaugural Snowbird Baseball Classic attracted the attention of top-ranking Division III schools and Division I universities Ohio State, Duquesne, Fairleigh Dickinson, and St. Louis which increased the number of teams participating from 23 in 2009 to 25 this year,” said Steve Partington, tournament director for the Snowbird Baseball Classic in a prepared statement. “Ohio State has committed to return next year while University of Michigan and Indiana University will participate in 2012 which means the event has tremendous growth potential.”
“Sporting events provide a positive economic boost to area businesses and they validate our area as a prospective venue for future tournaments and events,” said Becky Bovell, director of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, “Teams participating in these tournaments utilize hotels, restaurants and enjoy area attractions during downtime. We also find many tournament participants return as vacationers with their families.”
The Florida Sports Foundation has allocated a $10,000 grant to the tournament which was facilitated by the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau. The grant offsets the cost of marketing, site fees, and umpire expenses and baseballs. FSF’s Major and Regional Grant Programs assist communities and host organizations in attracting sports events which generate significant out-of-state economic impact for the state of Florida. Grant money is generated from a portion of the sales of the nine Florida professional sports team license plates.
Snowbird Baseball Classic’s Southwest Florida location provides the ideal climate for NCAA Division I and III baseball teams to begin the competitive season. A complete list of teams which participated in the 2010 tournament can be found atwww.snowbirdbaseball.com. Registrations are being accepted for the 2011 event.

Source: Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau