We are excited to report that Rocky Top Sports World recently closed the books on its biggest year yet! In the 2017-18 fiscal year, our athletic complex delivered a $45.7 million economic impact to Sevier County, TN. For the fourth consecutive year, Rocky Top Sports World has generated even more money than projected, topping the previous fiscal year by more than $10 million.
Opened in 2014, Rocky Top Sports World was funded as a joint venture by the city of Gatlinburg and Sevier County. Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner was thrilled with Rocky Top’s performance for 2017-18, telling the press, “Rocky Top Sports World has surpassed all expectations and is a vital part of Gatlinburg’s economic growth.”
As noted by Mayor Werner, Rocky Top Sports World is indeed a major boon to the tourism industry in the Smoky Mountains. Over 120,000 athletes and spectators visited our complex last year, and the vast majority of them took some time to enjoy the wonderful restaurants, attractions, and shops that call Sevier County home.
Tournaments and events at Rocky Top Sports World are also an invaluable source of business for the area’s many lodging providers. Jackie Leatherwood, the General Manager at the Greystone Lodge and a member of our Sports Advisory Committee, told the press, “Anytime you can see an immediate impact to your business from a group, it makes good sense. Rocky Top Sports World was a great investment in our community and businesses will be reaping the benefits for many years to come. These participants come to play at Rocky Top, but many come back at another time to visit for vacation.”
Highlights from Year Four at Rocky Top Sports World
The Rocky Top team has many fond memories from the 2017-18 season! Here is a quick look at some of the highlights from our fourth year:
• Our complex hosted over 190 events, including 61 multi-day events in both traditional and non-traditional sports.
• Rocky Top Sports World held first-year tournaments produced by the Girls Basketball Association, Junior Phenom Hoops, World Cube Association, and The Good Fight Martial Arts.
• The subscribers of Sports Destination Management Magazine voted Rocky Top Sports World a “Reader’s Choice Award Winner for Best Indoor Venue.”
• Sports Events Media Group named Rocky Top a “Top Ten Southern Indoor Sports Facility.”
• Rocky Top Sports World was awarded the 2019 and 2020 hosting rights for the AAU 5th Grade Girls Basketball National Championships.
While the 2017-18 season was an absolute blast, we’re already looking ahead to all of the fun scheduled for our fifth year of operation! Some of the eagerly anticipated tournaments and events on the horizon include the Gatlinburg Labor Day Soccer Invitational in September, The Spooky Shoot Out in October, the annual Thanksgiving Bowl in November, and the Gatlinburg Season Finale Soccer Tournament in December. For a complete listing of all our upcoming competitions, check out our Tournaments Calendar!