GULF SHORES AND ORANGE BEACH, ALA. – Sports tourism is off to a busy start in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in 2020 coming off a record year in 2019 for the local economy. Sports visitor expenditures contributed $121.44 million in economic impact (2.77 percent increase over 2018) with 117,075 room nights (2 percent increase).
The continued growth for sports travel to Alabama’s beaches has sparked interest from various groups throughout the country, including the professional soccer team, Memphis 901 FC.
“We continue to be encouraged by the healthy sports tourism growth to boost the economy in our beach communities,” said Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission. “In 2019, we saw an increase in hotel and condo inventory in the destination, so a 2- percent increase in room nights is a solid figure. We look forward to welcoming new business, including Memphis 901 FC, this year.”
This elite league will jump-start its second season with an intense workout week at the Orange Beach Sportsplex Feb. 10-14. Workout week will consist of daily training sessions, training matches and team building.
“With its proximity to the beach and quality playing surfaces, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores provide us with a great opportunity to really put in the work and get locked in for the season," said James Roeling, assistant sporting director for the soccer league. "Preseason is a long, physically demanding period so putting the players in the best environment to succeed is paramount. We are confident that we chose a location that will help prepare us for the upcoming season.”
To learn more about Memphis 901 FC, an American Professional soccer team embarking on its second season in the United Soccer League Championship, visit Memphis901FC.com.
For information on upcoming athletic events along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, visit GSOBsports.com, or call 1-800-745-SAND.