DOVER, Del. (June 20, 2024) – Today the Delaware Tourism Office announced awards to four Delaware sports facilities through the Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund. Established through the Fiscal Year 2024 Bond and Capital Improvements Act, the fund provides financial support to new or existing sports facilities that hold events throughout the year to attract out-of-state visitors and contribute to the state and local economy.  

The Delaware Tourism Office accepted applications for the fund from March 1 through April 12, 2024. The office received 18 applications requesting more than $54 million. Available funds totaled $11.3 million. 

Applications were reviewed by a panel, including the co-chairs of the Joint Capital Improvement Committee, Sen. Jack Walsh and Rep. Debra Heffernan, and representatives of the Delaware Tourism Office, the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, Kent County Tourism, and Southern Delaware Tourism. The panel met on May 6 to begin reviewing the applications and finalized their funding decision at a meeting on June 10 in Dover. 

“This was a very competitive application process, and the panel worked diligently to consider the merits of each facility that applied,” said Sen. Walsh. “The applicants receiving funding play an important role in encouraging out-of-state visitors to attend sports events in Delaware, growing the economy, and introducing our gem of a state to new audiences.” 

“We created this fund to ensure our facilities can continue to attract top sporting events throughout the year as the sports tourism industry grows,” said Rep. Heffernan. “By providing financial support to these facilities, we can make certain that sporting event operators keep Delaware top of mind when looking for locations for their tournaments and other competitions.” 

“Sports tourism is a significant economic driver in our state, attracting thousands of visitors to Delaware each year and generating millions of dollars in revenue,” said Jessica Welch, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “We are pleased to be able to support these facilities in their expansion efforts. This funding will go a long way in ensuring that our state can offer top-notch facilities to teams and event operators for years to come.”  

The facilities receiving funding through the Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund are: 

  • Wilmington Sports LLC ($6 million), to construct a new indoor track facility, adjacent to the Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington, that will serve as a multi-sport complex and host a variety of events and competitions. 

  • DE Turf ($3 million), to make improvements to the complex in Frederica in order to host larger regional and national tournaments. This will include tripling current stadium seating from 1,000 to 3,000 seats, constructing a new tournament facility, adding additional amenities, and more. 

  • Midway Motion & Fitness ($2 million), to construct a pickleball complex in Rehoboth Beach with 12 indoor courts and 4 outdoor courts, meeting the requirements for sanctioning of tournaments by the American Pickleball Association. 

  • STATS Tournaments ($300,000), to install stadium lights at two of its fields and build one additional baseball and softball field at their facility in Bear to accommodate the increasing team and tournament demands. 

“DE Turf is thrilled to receive this funding to support expanding our facility,” said Bill Strickland, chair of the DE Turf board of directors. “Since the complex was built in 2017, it has become a first-class destination that attracts sports tourism events to Kent County on a year-round basis. This funding will allow our organization to increase the number of events held at the facility, provide an opportunity to host a larger variety of events, and increase the overall economic impact DE Turf has on the state.” 

The Governor’s recommended FY25 Bond and Capital and Improvements Act includes additional funding for the Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund. If this funding is approved by the legislature, the Delaware Tourism Office plans to begin accepting applications for the next round of funding in the coming months. More information on the Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund, eligibility, and application materials can be found on the Visit Delaware website

The Delaware Tourism Office, a division of the Delaware Division of Small Business, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free at 866-284-7483. 


Media Contact:
Allyson Ennis