Johnson City Convention & Visitors Bureau requests sports tourism study

A chamber of commerce based in the Tri-Cities wants to capitalize on bringing more sporting events to the region.

Thursday night Johnson City Commissioners will consider an appropriation to the Johnson City Convention & Visitors Bureau to fund a sports market analysis and feasibility study.

The goal is to look at how to make the area more marketable for sporting evens.

Brenda Whitson with the Johnson City Convention & Visitors Bureau says the city is already home to several indoor and outdoor sports venues that host tournaments year round.

Now they are asking if places like Freedom Hall and Winged Deer Park are enough.

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“We are competing with sites around the country that have complexes that have 16 fields on one site, and Winged Deer has the capability of five,” said Whitson.

If the commission approves the study they hope to have answers as to what the next step should be.

“Hopefully that would help us determine, okay if you did “x” to whatever facility you could host additional events. You need to build this, this is where it needs to go this is what its going to cost,” said Whitson.

It is something Whitson says they have been working toward for about a year, even putting together a task force.

One of the task force members is associate professor at ETSU, Dr. Andy Dotterweich.

“The consensus for the task force was to commission this study to go out and collect that data,” said Dotterweich.

He says the opportunities, and potential for growth are there.

“We know there are several sports, particularly rectangular sports, like lacrosse and rugby that are growing,” said Dotterweich.

Whitson says no matter what comes of the study, it will benefit everyone involved.

“Anything that we do to enhance the facilities will only benefit the local citizens as well, its not just for visitors,” said Whitson.

According to the request, the study would cost no more than $60,000.

Whitson says if approved by the Johnson City commission they hope to start looking into the study in the next few months.

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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