City of Myrtle Beach looks to increase sports tourism

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The City of Myrtle Beach is starting a new division just to focus on sports tourism, as city council considers spending another $5 million to finish up Grand Park near the Market Common.

It's a brand new division that Myrtle Beach city officials have introduced Thursday. The division will be a group of city staff solely dedicated to bringing more sports events into the area. The division will be housed right in the middle of Grand Park.

Taxpayers say considering how many millions have been spent, the city needs to make sure they're covering all their bases to bring more teams in.

"You're gonna have the teams, and they need some place to play and go," said Kathleen Young, who lives in the area. "But if you're going to spend that much money, then you're going to have to advertise to get the people to come in I think."

The staff won't do all their work from the Grand Park field house. They're also going to travel across the country, attending conventions, to bring more attention to what Myrtle Beach has to offer for different tournaments and sporting events. This builds on the city's big emphasis on sports tourism, and officials say now that push will be even bigger.

"Having the staff together," said Sports Tourism Manager Tim Huber. "Strategizing. Working together closely to again, consistently and on a regular basis do all the things necessary to bring the events here."

City officials also tell WMBF News they hope to add at least one new position to the division since the staff will have plenty of work to do. They are charged with a big task, as the city hopes to keep the baseball fields loaded with teams all year round.

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