Palm Beach County is home to one of the premier BMX race tracks in the United States. The Okeeheelee BMX Track, located at Okeeheelee Park, is ranked as the top track in Florida and one of the top three tracks in the nation. On October 21-23, USA BMX will host one of its national events at the Okeeheelee Park BMX Track. The USA BMX Sunshine State Nationals will make its Palm Beach County debut and bring over 1,000 riders and nearly 3,000 total visitors from across the globe.
The USA BMX Sunshine State Nationals is expected to be one of the largest BMX events to take place in Palm Beach County. This national event hosts both male and female competitors of all ages, from youth to adult. Professional and amateur racers will vie for a championship at the USA BMX Sunshine State Nationals. Competitors will travel from all corners of the United States and several international destinations, which include Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Aruba, and Peru.
The event is expected to create an enormous economic impact for Palm Beach County. The influx of visitors will generate nearly 3,000 hotel room nights and more than $1.5 million in direct visitor spending.
Don’t miss the exciting action and thrills of BMX. Practice rounds will take place at Okeeeheelee Park throughout the day on Friday, October 21st. The competition begins at 8am on both Saturday, October 22nd and Sunday, October 23rd. For more information, contact the Palm Beach County Sports Commission at (561) 233-3180.
A record-breaking number of sporting events for the Palm Beach County Sports Commission generated a record-breaking number of sports-related room nights for Palm Beach County’s hospitality industry. At the conclusion of its 2016 fiscal year, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission played host to 152 sports events, which produced 203,262 room nights derived from hotels, motels, and seasonal rentals in Palm Beach County.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s efforts resulted in new benchmarks for sports tourism. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission supported over 200,000 room nights for the first time since its inception in 1985. The 203,262 tracked room nights eclipses the Sports Commission’s previous record of 183,896 room nights, which was set last year. The 19,366 rise in room nights represents an 11% year over year increase. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s portfolio of 152 events tops last year’s record at 138. The 152 events represent more than 40 different types of sports disciplines, which demonstrate the diverse sports facilities and venues residing in Palm Beach County.
In addition to room nights, the 152 sports events created a tremendous level of visitor spending. In total, sports tourism generating events spurred an estimated $269 million of direct visitor spending during FY 16.
Sports tourism continues to serve all regions of Palm Beach County. The north, central, and south sectors of Palm Beach County were each home to over 30% of the 152 sports events hosted by the Sports Commission.
A significant portion of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s tourism output occurred during the summer, which is traditionally a slow time for Palm Beach County’s hospitality industry. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission supported 63 of it's 152 events during the summer. In all, the summertime sporting events brought more than 25,000 athletes to the county, resulting in more than 52,000 hotel room nights. The summer events boost hotel occupancy rates during a period that hotel stays are at its lowest.
The portfolio of sports events hosted by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission includes an impressive collection of statewide, regional, national, and international events. Marquee events such as the Boca Raton Bowl, The Honda Classic on the PGA TOUR, the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships, the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Polo Junior Golf Classic the USA Baseball National Team Championships, the Cal Ripken 10U World Series, the Winter Equestrian Festival, and the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) National Games are only a sample of the events that contributed to the banner year for sports tourism.
Palm Beach County continues to be a leading destination for amateur baseball in the state of Florida. The Palm Beaches will attract more than 1,500 baseball players participating on 85 elite travel baseball teams in one of the most competitive high school age baseball tournaments in the world. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is partnering with Roger Dean Stadium to host the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) Championship in Jupiter for the 15th time in the past 16 years. This event, which has experienced tremendous growth in team and player participation, is conducted under Perfect Game USA and will take place at Roger Dean Stadium from October 20-24, 2016.
The Perfect Game WWBA World Championships is known simply as “Jupiter” amongst the amateur baseball community. This event provides a showcase for prospects while they perform in front of nearly 1,000 professional scouts and college recruiters over the course of five days.
The Perfect Game WWBA World Championship is a pool play tournament where each team is guaranteed a minimum of four games. Pool play starts on Thursday, October 20. The semi-final round takes place on Sunday, October 23 with the finals taking place on Monday, October 24. Only one team will claim the title and be fitted for championship rings.
In addition to the array of exciting baseball games, the event will bring significant economic benefits to Palm Beach County. Last year, the event created 4,170 hotel room nights and over $2.5 million of direct visitor spending for Palm Beach County’s hospitality community.
Perfect Game USA is America's largest amateur baseball scouting service in the United States, hosting more than 100 showcases and tournaments each year. Perfect Game attracts the most talented amateur players in the nation and the proof is in the results. A total of 9,290 of Perfect Game’s alumni have been selected in the Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft since 2003. The number of MLB draft picks for Perfect Game leads all other baseball organizations.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. The Lou Groza Award celebration, presented by the Orange Bowl, recognizes three national finalists at a gala awards banquet in Palm Beach County on December 5th. In order to commemorate this milestone, the inaugural Lou Groza Award Winner, Joe Allison, will return to Palm Beach County as the keynote speaker for the Silver Anniversary celebration. This event will be held at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott, which was home to the inaugural Lou Groza Award banquet.
Three nights later, on December 8th, Allison will present the Groza Trophy to the season’s best kicker, as voted by a panel of FBS coaches and SIDs, along with national and regional football writers, and past Groza winners. The winner will be announced by Allison live on ESPN during the Home Depot College Football Awards.
Joe Allison represents the beginning of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. As one of the most prolific place-kickers to play for the University of Memphis, Allison became the first recipient of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award in 1992. That year as a junior, Allison drilled 23 of 25 field-goal attempts and led the NCAA in both field goals made as well as field goal percentage to capture the very first Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. His 23 field goals are a single season record at Memphis. Allison was named by the Associated Press to their 1992 All-American team, the first Memphis University player in the school’s history to be honored with that recognition. Over his college football career, Joe Allison made 51 field goals, which ranks third in the school history. After college, Allison signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent in 1994.
The 25th Anniversary of the Lou Groza Award Celebration will be a special night filled with nostalgia. In addition to Joe Allison, other former Lou Groza Award winners will be in attendance for the historic celebration. For more information or to reserve tickets for the 25th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet please visit www.LouGrozaAward.com or call (561) 233-3180.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission will host the OneHockey Florida Faceoff from October 7-9 at Palm Beach Skate Zone in Lake Worth. OneHockey is a leading provider of ice hockey tournaments in North America. OneHockey’s three-day event at Palm Beach Skate Zone will attract approximately 45 youth hockey teams consisting of more than 750 athletes. Teams will travel from across the nation and globe. Each team is guaranteed to play four games. Age divisions include squirt, peewee, bantam, under 16, and under 18.
The event is expected to create a considerable tourism impact. The visiting athletes and their families are projected to create over 1,200 hotel room nights and more than $600,000 in visitor spending.
Palm Beach Skate Zone is a 75,000 square feet facility, which features two (2) ice skating rinks, one (1) roller skating rink, newly renovated locker rooms, and a full service pro shop. For more information visit www.pbskatezone.com.