The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s portfolio of sports events created a record-breaking year for sports tourism in The Palm Beaches. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission hosted 162 sporting events, which produced 222,528 room nights derived from hotels, motels, and vacation rentals in Palm Beach County. Sports-related room nights experienced a 9% increase, year over year. Sports related room nights in Palm Beach County grew by 21% (38,632 room nights) over the last two years and by 35% (57,346) over the last five years.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s portfolio of 162 events represents more than 40 different sports. This demonstrates the diverse sports facilities and venues of Palm Beach County.
In addition to room nights, the 162 sports events created a tremendous level of visitor spending. In total, sports tourism generating events spurred well over $300 million of direct visitor spending for The Palm Beaches.
The Sports Commission markets the County as a sports destination and recruits, develops, and supports sports events and activities that enhance economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues, and maximizes utilization of County facilities.
The Commission offers a wide range of services to event organizers, which includes pre-event planning, operational and logistical support, facility coordination, marketing and public relations, volunteer recruitment, hospitality management, and sourcing of in-kind partnerships and sponsorships. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, visit www.palmbeachsports.com.
Palm Beach County continues to be a leading destination for amateur baseball. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission will partner with Perfect Game USA to transform The Palm Beaches into a youth baseball centerpiece during the third week in October. Perfect Game will not only continue its relationship in Palm Beach County, but will significantly expand its presence in 2017.
The Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) World Championship will return to Roger Dean Stadium on October 19-23, 2017. Over 1,500 athletes participating on 85 elite travel baseball teams will compete in one of the most competitive high school age baseball tournaments in the world. The Perfect Game WWBA World Championships, which is simply known as “Jupiter” amongst the amateur baseball community, has taken place at Roger Dean Stadium a total of 15 times in the past 16 years.
The Perfect Game WWBA World Championship is a wood bat only tournament for the 18U age group. The format consists of pool play and each team is guaranteed a minimum of four games. Only one team will claim a championship and will be fitted for championship rings. The Perfect Game WWBA World Championships is considered to be Perfect Game’s premier national team tournament. The top travel ball organizations from across the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean will compete at the premier, invitation-only event.
Perfect Game will expand its presence in Palm Beach County by hosting its Freshman World Series at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and the Santaluces Athletic Complex during the same weekend as the WWBA World Championships at Roger Dean Stadium. The Perfect Game Freshman World Series will relocate to Palm Beach County after five (5) years at the Lake Point Community in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Perfect Game Freshman World Series is one of the most impressive baseball tournaments taking place in the United States that is solely for high school freshman. Over 1,400 athletes participating on 80 elite travel baseball teams will visit Palm Beach County to compete in this invitation only event. This is also a wood bat tournament with a pool play format. Each team is guaranteed 4 games and only one team will claim a championship. The Perfect Game Freshman World Series has grown each year due to the increase of travel teams for the 14U age group.
Ultimately, the Perfect Game WWBA World Championship and the Freshman World Series provides a showcase for prospects while they perform in front of professional scouts and college recruiters over the course of five days. Over 1,000 scouts will travel from across the nation to take advantage of the talented collection of youth baseball players performing at only two facilities.
The relocation of the Perfect Game Freshman World Series became a possibility with the opening of The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. The relocation creates scouting and operational efficiencies for Perfect Game while nearly doubling the tourism and economic impact for Palm Beach County during the third weekend in October. The championship games for Perfect Game’s WWBA World Championships and Freshman World Series will take place on October 23 on the stadium field at Roger Dean Stadium and The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches respectively.
In addition to featuring an array of exciting baseball games, the two Perfect Game showcases will generate significant economic benefits. Combined, these tournaments will attract over 160 teams and nearly 3,000 athletes while generating nearly 8,000 hotel room nights and more than $6 million in visitor spending.
Perfect Game USA is the largest amateur baseball scouting service, 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 10,228 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.
Palm Beach County will become a gathering for our nation’s heroes with the return of the First Responder Games on October 6-8, 2017. Police, firefighters, military, federal agents, and emergency medical personnel will come together to play in the First Responder Games’ Softball Open at Okeeheelee Park, Lake Lytal Park, and John Prince Park. Teams comprised of the brave will travel from across the nation to compete on the diamond.
The First Responder Games conducted its Olympic-style competition in The Palm Beaches during the summer. This multi-sports event brought over 2,000 first responders to The Palm Beaches as they competed in over 30 different sports throughout the entire county. The participants had an opportunity to compete in a wide spectrum of sports, such as soccer, flag football, softball, golf, basketball, ice hockey, fishing, archery, tennis, shooting, swimming, volleyball, bowling, billiards, darts, racquetball and cycling.
Palm Beach County is becoming a popular destination for first responders. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission hosted the First Responder Games for the second time in four years and also hosted the Florida Firefighter Games in 2014.
The First Responder Games and its influx of visitors create a major tourism and economic impact for Palm Beach County. The softball competition event is expected to generate a significant rise in hotel room nights and visitor spending. The First Responder Games’ festival contributed to over $1 million of direct visitor spending in the summer.
“Hosting the First Responder Games’ Softball Open will be a very special occasion for Palm Beach County. While this event will attract a surge of new visitors, hotel room nights, and new revenues for our destination, we also have the privilege of hosting an event to celebrate our finest heroes and first responders who dedicate their lives to public service”, said George Linley, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Please visit www.firstrespondergames.com for a schedule and more details about the First Responder Games’ Softball Open. Don’t miss the opportunity to come out and root for these valiant competitors. The event is open to the public with free admission.
Check out the highlights below from the 2017 First Responder Games. The games represent over 45 different sports. These games allow our first responders to showcase their competitive abilities and skill sets.
Renowned mental health professional Dr. Phil McGraw heads a lineup of entertainment and sports celebrities who will be participating in the 2017 Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic coming up Nov. 3-5. McGraw and Evert, the 18-time Grand Slam champion, have a common history of advocating for children and families who are impacted by drug addiction.
McGraw’s top-rated daytime talk show, “Dr. Phil,” has received 27 Emmy nominations and won five PRISM awards for the accurate depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse and addiction. Evert’s event has raised more than $23 million since 1989 to combat drug abuse and child neglect. McGraw is an avid tennis player and will be returning to Evert’s event for the first time since 2002.
Five stars from the acting community are also in the fold for the 2017 fundraiser: first-time participants Robin Givens (ABC’s “Head of the Class”) and Tate Donovan (DirecTV “Damages”), as well as 2016 attendees Timothy Olyphant (FX’s “Justified”), Jamie McShane (Netflix’ “Bloodline”) and longtime Evert friend and former tennis pro Maeve Quinlan (CBS’s “The Bold and Beautiful”). Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” co-host Steve Doocy will also be playing in the event, as well as American Idol winner David Cook and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. All three have made past appearances, and Cook is returning for the eighth straight year.
The Pro-Celebrity event pairs celebrities—more than 200 have participated over the years—and guest tennis pros for two days of tennis at the Delray Beach Tennis Center (Nov. 4-5). The event kicks off with a pair of events on Friday (Nov. 3) at the Boca Raton Resort & Club - a morning Pro-Am and evening cocktail party and includes a Saturday evening Gala (Nov. 4) featuring dinner, dancing and live and silent auctions at the Boca Resort.
Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic premium seats range in price from $40 to $90 for both Saturday and Sunday sessions. Club seats with seat backs are $40 per day or $70 for the weekend and courtside box seats (rows 1-8) are $90 per day or $175 for both sessions. General admission tickets are $20 per session. Friday night’s (Nov. 3) cocktail party tickets are $100, while the Saturday evening Pro-Celebrity Gala and Silent Auction ticket (Nov. 4) is priced at $750. Tickets can be purchased online at www.chrisevert.org and more information about the event can also be found on the website.
Blue Line Hockey Tournaments will not only be making their Palm Beach County debut this weekend, but it will also be the company’s inaugural event! The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is partnering with Blue Line Hockey Tournaments to host the Columbus Day Discovery Showdown at Palm Beach Skate Zone and Palm Beach Ice Works on October 5-8, 2017. Over 40 ice hockey teams from across the southeast region of the United States, consisting of almost 500 athletes, will travel to The Palm Beaches to compete in this inaugural event. The event will showcase six (6) different age divisions (8 & under to 18 & under) as well as an A & AA classification within each age division.
Each team will compete in pool play to determine the tournament seeds, followed by a single elimination tournament. Each team is guaranteed to play a minimum of 4 games.
Blue Line Hockey’s Columbus Day Discovery Showdown will provide a significant tourism boost to The Palm Beaches hospitality community during the month of October. The participants and their affiliated spectators will boost hotel occupancy levels and economic impact during the fall season. For more information, visit bluelinetournaments.com.