MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -- The city of Myrtle Beach is growing as a tourist destination, bringing in nearly 18 million people each year. Part of that is due sports tourism along the Grand Strand.
The Myrtle Beach Sports Center, which was designed to increase sports tourism in Myrtle Beach, is looking to increase their numbers of sports tourism, particularly during the shoulder season.
The $13.8 million facility was expected to take a financial hit this fiscal year.
Myrtle Beach Sports Center General Manager, Jessica Vanco said it was able to bring in nearly $60,000-worth of revenue.
So far, the facility has been able to book more events throughout the months of August and December compared to 2016.
"Our shoulder season, which is typically August to December when kids are going back to school, those are the days that we are looking to get more economic impact," Vanco said.
The Sports Center is also trying to attract non-traditional sporting events to the Grand Strand as well as more female sports events and tournaments.
Vanco said the facility sees larger groups of families that come out to female sporting events like volleyball, basketball and cheerleading.
"A lot of our biggest economic impact events are female events because they bring their mom, dad, grandmother and grandfather," said Vanco.
Those larger groups are more likely to book more than one hotel room and spend money shopping.