When Rocky Top Sports World opened its $20 million athletic complex in 2014, it was a big investment for the city of Gatlinburg and Sevier County, TN. Our 80-acre campus was funded as a joint venture by the city and the county. Now that Rocky Top Sports World has closed the books on its third year, we are pleased to report that the area’s investment in our sports complex continues to pay major dividends.
In our 2016-17 season, Rocky Top Sports World delivered a $35.4 million economic impact to Sevier County. For the third year in a row, our athletic complex has exceeded expectations as it bolsters the thriving travel industry in the Smoky Mountains.
More than 42,000 athletes visited our athletic complex in the previous year, and they didn’t come alone. Thousands of families have enjoyed Gatlinburg’s wonderful attractions, shops, and restaurants while they were in town for a youth sports event. These families and teams have also booked over 53,000 room nights from lodging providers in Sevier County.
Speaking to the press, Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner said, “Rocky Top has continued to over-deliver and we couldn’t be more excited for the future”. Gatlinburg City Manager Cindy Cameron Ogle echoed this sentiment, saying that Rocky Top’s exponential growth “confirms, yet again, that this was the right choice for Gatlinburg and Sevier County”. Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters also praised Rocky Top for “bringing consistent business into Sevier County”.
A Look Back at Year Three at Rocky Top Sports World
Our third year was our biggest and busiest one yet! Here is a quick look at some of the most notable achievements and happenings at Rocky Top Sports World in 2016-17:
Team attendance nearly doubled for some of our most popular sports events, including the Peak Challenge volleyball tournament and the U.S. Amateur Girls Nationals basketball tournament.
In a poll conducted by SportsEvents Magazine, Rocky Top Sports World was voted a “Top Multi-Use Sports Facility”. This honor is bestowed on “facilities that exceed expectations and offer athletes and spectators a memorable athletic experience”. Rocky Top Sports World also received a “Reader’s Choice Award” from SportsEvents Magazine.
Rocky Top Sports World was recognized at the National Association of Sports Commissions Symposium for our community work outside the world of athletics. In the aftermath of the Gatlinburg wildfires in November of 2016, our 86,000 square-foot indoor facility served as a Red Cross shelter that housed and fed thousands of people who were evacuated or lost their homes.
While we’re very proud of everything Rocky Top Sports World accomplished last year, we’re already looking ahead to our 2017-18 season! We have a full schedule jam-packed with amazing events. In October, we are excited to host the opening reception for the Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism.
For a complete look at all of the incredible events coming to Rocky Top Sports World this year, check out our Gatlinburg Sports Tournaments & Camps Calendar!