Youth Sports Tourism

An estimated 35 million children in the United States between the ages of 5 and 18 play organized sports every year. Of those, 21 million play non-school youth sports, which include baseball, soccer, lacrosse, rowing, hockey, volleyball, and gymnastics. These non-school groups are organized through local programs, such as Little League, or through sports clubs.

Unlike school-sponsored sports, in which teams usually travel by bus from one local school to another for games and tournaments, non-school sports games and tournaments may be held either across town or across the country. Parents are expected to spend the time and money to take their children to these events. Because of the money families spend while at these far away locations, more cities are planning to build sports complexes to attract youth sports tournaments.

Today’s market size is an estimate of the total spent in 2013 by families in the United States on travel for youth sports, including hotels, restaurants, and shopping. This category of tourism—Youth Sports Tourism—didn’t even exist a few years ago but is now one that is keenly tracked by industry observers and chambers of commerce.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2013
Market size: $7 billion
Source: Mark Koba, “Spending Big on Kids’ Sports? You’re Not Alone,”, January 13, 2014, available online here.
Original source: Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission
Posted on January 16, 2014