Visit Greater Palm Springs and Riverside County Unveil Amateur Sports Complex Study, Pointing to Significant Regional Impact

GREATER PALM SPRINGS — A $54,600 study shows that a new amateur sports facility could have transformative effects have on the region. Sports tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors of tourism.

Key highlights from the study include projections of more than 34,000 added yearly lodging nights, and after stabilization of operations, an economic impact of more than $46 million per year. Additionally, the study estimates a sporting complex would provide nearly 600 (both full and part-time) jobs to the local economy.

Based on the results of the research and analyses conducted under this feasibility study, overall findings
suggest that a distinct market opportunity exists for a new Amateur Sports Complex in the Coachella Valley for the primary purpose of attracting new sports tourism activity and a secondary purpose of better serving local area user groups.

Visit Greater Palm Springs paid for the study using money that Riverside County provided, Robert Moran, deputy director of Riverside County Office of Economic Development, told Uken Report.

The study’s author, Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, conducted in collaboration between the County and VGPS, highlights the economic, social, and recreational benefits an indoor sporting facility could bring to Greater Palm Springs and its surrounding areas.

The study is a culmination of extensive research and analysis and outlines key findings that underscore the positive impact on tourism, local businesses, and community engagement. The study positions Greater Palm Springs as an ideal location for a state-of-the-art indoor sports facility, capable of attracting diverse events and fostering a sense of pride and excitement among residents.

The study suggests that a state-of-the-industry hardcourt facility, suitable to accommodate basketball, volleyball, wrestling, pickleball, dance/cheer, martial arts, table tennis, futsal, gymnastics, and other sports and uses could address the unmet market demand from local and non-local user groups for tournaments, meets and competitions.

“The release of this Amateur Sports Complex Study marks a crucial milestone in our efforts to enhance Greater Palm Springs as a sports destination,” said Scott White, President and CEO of Visit Greater Palm Springs. “The findings validate our belief that a sports complex will not only elevate our region’s profile in the sports industry but will also serve as a catalyst for economic growth and community engagement.”

At this point in time, there have not been any specific sites identified for a project, Moran told Uken Report.

Most sports tourism occurs on weekends, leaving four or five days of programming that must be filled by demand from area residents participating in youth and amateur sports activities, according to the study. There are an estimated 90,000 frequent sports participants within a 60-minute drive of Palm Desert. Importantly, it is estimated that there are more 20 million people that reside within a three-hour drive of Coachella Valley. These data suggest both the strong residential population and the significant opportunity to attract non-local participants for sports tourism events held in Coachella Valley.

“Years ago, after watching a documentary on the growing phenomenon of sports tourism, I asked that we initiate this study because we saw examples of how towns that had these facilities for travel sports and tournaments are benefiting,” Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said. “As we have seen with the new Acrisure Arena in Thousand Palms, a local arena and our local community can support sports opportunities. We now have a study that shows a need for an amateur sports complex for travel sports, particularly one with indoor courts and one that is tournament-quality. We look forward to this initiative and working with any private partner that would be interested in bringing this to our region. The report has many more details and shows us the possibility that such a facility could be supported here in the Coachella Valley.”

Is Amateur Sports Complex Next for Valley?

San Bernardino Soccer Complex

A comparable sports complex is the San Bernardino Soccer Complex. 

Moran said potential land has not yet been identified for an Amateur Sports Complex.

The collaborative effort between Visit Greater Palm Springs and Riverside County in commissioning the Amateur Sports Complex Study shows a shared vision for progress, prosperity, and community enrichment. As the findings are made public, both organizations are eager to engage with stakeholders, the community, and potential partners to explore opportunities for the successful realization of a sports facility.

To view the complete study, please follow this link.

Image Sources

  • San Bernardino Sports Complex: City of San Bernardino
  • football-488714_1280 (1): Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay