Erie, Pa: Two events hosted in Erie in 2022 and supported by the Erie Sports Commission have been honored by a national sports tourism magazine for their economic impact to Erie County.
Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, has announced the 2022 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. This year’s winners are responsible for contributing a more-than-welcome boost of over $2.42 billion to the national economy over the past year.
The Keystone State Wrestling Championships, held at Erie Insurance Arena March 18-20, was recognized as a Champion of Economic Impact in the mid-market category. The event, operated by 72point5 Wrestling, generated more than $3.3 million in economic impact with nearly 2,000 youth wrestlers competing throughout the weekend.
The 28th Annual Sarah Backstrom Memorial Tournament, operated by Lake Effect Hockey, was named a Champion of Economic Impact in the Innovations in Sports Tourism category. This year’s event was held Feb. 18-21 at multiple venues throughout Erie County, including ERIEBANK Sports Park, Erie Insurance Arena, the Flo Fabrizio Ice Center and Mercyhurst Ice Center.
The Backstrom, one of the longest-running all-girls youth hockey tournaments in the U.S. and Canada, generated $2.4 million in economic impact throughout Erie County, more than 10 times the economic impact generated when Lake Effect Hockey first took over the event in 2019. More than 1,100 girls youth hockey players took to the ice this year, nearly triple the number of athletes in 2019.
“These were two of our biggest events in terms of economic impact in 2022,” Erie Sports Commission Executive Director Mark Jeanneret said, “so it is gratifying to see them recognized nationally as well. Events like these prove that Erie is an attractive destination for championship events as well as athletes from around the Commonwealth and beyond.”
All winners of awards have been recognized in a special feature published in the November/December 2022 issue of Sports Destination Management. The entire article with full details on the winners can also be found here.