Rocky Top Sports World Exceeds Expectations with $27.5 Million Economic Impact in Second Year

A beautiful field at Rocky Top Sports World.

At Rocky Top Sports World’s grand opening in September 2014, our ambassador Coach Phillip Fulmer told the crowd, “This was a great vision by a lot of people to come together and this will not only impact the lives of a lot of young people around the country, but the lives here economically.” Coach Fulmer could not have been more correct. Data from Rocky Top Sports World’s second year shows that our sports complex has had a profound economic impact on Sevier County.

In its first year of operation, Rocky Top surpassed economic estimates with an impact of $17.5 million. For the 2015-16 season, our complex blew expectations out of the water once again by recording a $27.5 million economic impact, exceeding targets by 83%!        

The success of Rocky Top Sports World has always been intertwined with the local community. Our complex was funded as a joint venture by the city of Gatlinburg, Sevier County, and Sevier County Schools. As this year’s data shows, local investment in Rocky Top Sports World has paid off big time. The $27.5 million generated this year has gone to lodging providers, restaurants, attractions, shops, and other businesses in Sevier County.

(See Also: 3 Things Athletes Love About Playing at Rocky Top Sports World)

Highlights from Year Two at Rocky Top Sports WorldCoach Phillip Fulmer working with kids at his football camp at Rocky Top Sports World.

Rocky Top’s second year has been a busy one! Here are just some of the highlights from 2015-16:

  • Our complex hosted a record 53 multi-sport, multi-day events, surpassing expectations by 51%.
  • Team attendance doubled at the Queen of the Mountain Volleyball Tournament in February 2016. This unique tournament offers great volleyball competition along with a fun Crown Contest, where each team creates their own royal headwear.
  • Rocky Top Sports World hosted the inaugural Phillip Fulmer Hall of Fame Football Camp. Fulmer is one of the most successful coaches in modern college football history, with a 0.745 winning percentage during his tenure at the University of Tennessee. The new camp focuses on football fundamentals and technique for players ages 7 – 17.
  • Sports Planning Guide ranked Rocky Top Sports World among the 9 Top Indoor Facilities for 2016. The publication wrote that our complex has “the most exceptional spectator viewing set-ups of any venue in the country”.
  • Connect Sports included Rocky Top Sports World in its list of 10 Recently Opened Facilities You Need to Know. Our complex was praised for our outdoor and indoor facilities and our incredible location 10 minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and 4 miles from downtown Gatlinburg.

Looking Forward

Young women playing lacrosse.Rocky Top Sports World’s first two years have been truly exceptional, and we can’t wait to begin year three! In 2016-17 we will host a number of new events, including the eagerly anticipated Smoky Mountain Showdown presented by Top of the Bay Lacrosse.

To see all of the great events scheduled at Rocky Top Sports World for this year, visit our Gatlinburg Sports Tournaments & Camps page. If you have any questions about our tournaments, camps, or facilities, don’t hesitate to give us a call!