Department of Tourism
Sports Authority Helps Boost Economic Impact
The Kentucky Sports Authority, a division of the Kentucky Department of Tourism, helped bring more than $3.4 million in economic impact to Kentucky during June. According to an impact study done for the authority, the ESPN Citgo Bassmaster Elite Series “Bluegrass Brawl” brought approximately $600,000 into the Commonwealth. Meanwhile, the Dew Action Sports Tour’s Panasonic Open generated an additional $2.8 million in economic impact in the Louisville area, according to a second study.
“This is exactly the kind of impact that Governor Fletcher envisioned when he created the Sports Authority last year,” said Kentucky Department of Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash. “Through the Sports Authority, the Department of Tourism is committed to working with all of our local communities to bring more sports events to Kentucky and ensuring that more tourism dollars and jobs come to the Commonwealth as a result.”
The Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament, hosted in Gilbertsville, KY on Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake, brought approximately $600,000 to the Western Kentucky Region. The tournament featured 103 anglers and 103 co-Anglers and drew 2,525 spectators. The event, which was held June 15 – 18, was televised on ESPN2 on June 25. Morizo Shimizu took home the $100,000 grand prize. This was the first time an Elite Series event was hosted in Kentucky. The Kentucky Sports Authority secured the spot when ESPN expanded the season from six to eleven events.
The Dew Action Sports Tour June 22-25 drew 41,000 action sports fans to watch 350 athletes compete in six different disciplines ranging from freestyle motocross to vert skateboarding. The event was broadcast live on NBC (two hours on Saturday and three hours on Sunday) with two hours of tape-delayed coverage on USA Network on Friday and Saturday.
“The national network and cable television coverage these two events received is very important in extending our positive image and brand to the rest of the nation,” said Fiveash. “Millions of people watched these events take place in Kentucky, with many hearing about what our state has to offer for the first time ever.”
“Kentucky is a great place for just about any sporting event,” stated Terry Johnson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Sports Authority. “Our local communities were crucial in the success of these two events. More and more of our cities and counties are starting to understand the important role sports can play in tourism development. Kentucky is quickly earning quite a reputation for successfully hosting almost any kind of sporting event.”
The economic impact analysis for both events was conducted by Jerry Henry and Associates, an independent researcher with more than 20 years in the leisure and tourism research industry. Henry based his calculations on research surveys conducted on site by staff. The surveys were created by Jerry Henry and Associates exclusively for the Kentucky Department of Tourism.