Local sports tourism makes a positive impact on the pandemic recovery here in Erie County


Sporting events are making a comeback and local sports tourism is having a positive impact on the pandemic recovery here in Erie County.

We went outside Erie Bank Sports Park with more about how these events are boosting the local economy.

In the first couple of months of 2021 local sports tourism has generated about six million dollars in economic impact. Many of these sporting events taking place here at the Erie Bank Sports Park.

Despite some recent unfortunate news regarding the Erie Bayhawks Basketball Team, and the Erie Otters hockey season being canceled, the Executive Director of the Erie Sports Commission, Mark Jeanneret, said that 2021 is off to a great start.

Jeanneret said that twenty sports events have been hosted in the last seventeen weeks while generating 6.5 million dollars in economic impact.

“We’ve worked hard to try to utilize whatever would be available and whatever venues work under these tight capacity restrictions,” said Mark Jeanneret, Executive Director of Erie Sports Commission.

Jeanneret said that the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship in March helped to fill nearly 3,000 hotel rooms.

In the last few months, Erie Sports Commission has worked to host a variety of events including hockey tournaments, gymnastic meets, wrestling tournaments, and many more.

“The support in the tourism industry to date has been phenomenal and I think we continue to move towards this recovery no matter how short or long it takes. Our partners in the tourism industry are certainly going to embrace our efforts,” said Jeanneret.

The general manager of one local hotel said that the reemergence of sports has helped the entire region.

“Bringing business here in the months that we really need it particularly with youth sports, gymnastics, NCAA, a lot of gymnastics, cheerleading, hockey, its been a great January, February, March because of those groups coming to Erie,” said Daniel Pora, General Manager of the Sheraton Erie Bayfront.

Pora added that the situation has improved dramatically from last March and April when the pandemic began.

“We ran really really low occupancies. We were struggling just to get anyone. So having this business come to Erie in those same months this year really did make a significant impact on us,” said Pora.

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