COUNTY, VA — Sixty-two sports events attracting athletes, families and coaches from across the nation and several countries saw sports tourism’s local economic impact reach $41 million in fiscal 2018. It’s an increase of nearly $2.4 million over the previous year, as Chesterfield County matures as a sports destination. Sports tourism and the visitor spending it generates drove nearly $1.5 million in local tax revenue collected for the year.
City Sportsplex, which the county acquired in December 2016, continued to
establish itself nationally, earning SportsEvents Magazine’s acknowledgement as
an “Ultimate Soccer and Lacrosse Destination and Venue, as well as a National
Association of Counties Achievement Award for Chesterfield’s efforts to
transform the once-fledgling venue into a premiere sports destination. River
City Sportsplex’s share of the total sports tourism economic impact was $32.3
million. The facility hosted 549,000 visitors, including event participants and
citizens making use of open-play opportunities — a benefit touted by local
officials when deciding to purchase the facility. River City Sportsplex hosted
26 sports tourism events, growth that is providing significant support to local
successfully competing against some of the finest tournament venues across the
country as we continue our momentum to make Chesterfield the place for sports
tournaments,” said James Worsley, director for Chesterfield County Parks and
Recreation. “Our facilities also are providing those who live here great
opportunities to pursue recreation, as well as compete in some of the nation’s
top events here at home.”
In addition to events at River City Sportsplex, Chesterfield hosted numerous other
events throughout the county, highlighting 14 sports. Events took place at 13
facilities, including county-owned and private venues, such as USA Swimming’s
Futures Championship at SwimRVA and the Professional Putters Association
Eastern Open at Putt-Putt Fun Center. A new Richmond Volleyball Club facility
also debuted in fiscal 2018, built in partnership with Chesterfield, and
playing host to the Amateur Athletic Union Bid Tournament and Championship for
girls volleyball, among other events.
62 sports tourism events held in Chesterfield saw 14 new events, including the
Club Champions League II Fall and Spring festivals for boys and girls soccer.
The Club Champions League now chooses to hold five of its events in
Chesterfield. U.S. Lacrosse, the national governing body for the sport, also
brought its U15 Nationals girls lacrosse tournament to Chesterfield.
sports tourism showed an $84.1 million economic impact, compared to $81.7
million in fiscal 2017. Such parallel growth to the local impact is no accident
as Chesterfield works with its neighbors to expand the region’s sports tourism
capability. An example of the regional impact is that weekend hotel stays, for
the first time, surpassed weekday business stays.
takes strong public-private partnership linked to facilities, venues, hotels,
restaurants and retailers to produce tangible results,” said Dr. Joe Casey,
county administrator. “We are very fortunate to have a fantastic group of
professionals supporting sports tourism in Chesterfield and throughout the