"Sports-related tourism is big bucks in America. Super Bowl XLVIII was widely touted (if disputed) as having a $600 million economic impact in the New York City region. Chump change next to the billions surrounding the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia," Travel + Leisure reports.
Here are some of T+L's best vacation spots for sports fans.
Indianapolis: The Brickyard and Basketball
Get behind the wheel of an IndyCar for a high-speed ride around one of the world’s most famous tracks. Basketball (and sports movie) fans can relive the “Milan Miracle of 1954” at both the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum and the Hinkle Fieldhouse, where the historic high school game was played (and where much of the movie Hoosiers, on which it’s based, was filmed).
The AudienceSCAN survey showed 7% of Americans plan to take trips to out-of-town professional/college sporting events during the next 12 months.
Cleveland and Canton: Rock the Pigskin
Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame pays homage to the gridiron’s greats and is fresh off a 2013 renovation/expansion that now includes interactive exhibits, like an Instant Replay challenge where visitors can play referee and decide whether to overturn or confirm rulings on the field.
Sports venues, museums and towns can market to Sports Vacationers through TV spots showcasing all the sporty activities the town holds! The AudienceSCAN study found 43% of Sports Vacationers took action after watching television (over-the-air, online, mobile or tablet) commercials in the past 30 days.
Upstate New York: Champions Getaway
Start in Cooperstown, NY, at America’s oldest professional sports Hall of Fame, The National Baseball Hall of Fame. Just three hours north, channel our modern Olympic legends during a Lake Placid Adventure: bobsledding, skeleton runs, skiing, and ice skating at the Olympic Sports Complex, the very rink where the U.S. defeated the Soviet Union in what became known as the “Miracle on Ice.”
College and professional teams could try offering daily deals for tickets and getaway packages aimed at crowds from out of town! The AudienceSCAN study found 62% of Sports Vacationers took action after seeing daily deals in the past year.
Iowa to Illinois: Baseball Road Trip
Spend a day running the bases and playing catch on the Iowa baseball diamond where Field of Dreams was filmed. Afterward, drive three hours east to Chicago to tour the dugout, clubhouse, and press box at one of America’s most iconic ballparks: Wrigley Field.