Every bounce of a ball, every crack of a bat, splash of a disc into chain links grows the value of attracting sports tournaments to Delaware. This sector is a key part of Delaware Tourism Office’s mission to drive large volumes of out-of-state visitation.

When people come here for sporting events, they stay in area hotels, dine in area restaurants and shop in area stores.

Events DTO has helped bring to Delaware have contributed more than $60 million to the Delaware’s economy. And exhibiting at five national trade shows this year has helped further increase the state’s visibility in this sector.

The past year has also seen a wide range of successful events in numerous and varied athletic endeavors.

The Professional Disc Golf Association brought its event to Delaware at Iron Hill County Park in Newark in September. The event was one of just six stops for the organization nationwide. It brought more than 75 players, including 6 of the top 10 men and women in the world to Delaware.

Some of the best teams in DIII college football came to the University of Delaware for the ECAC DIII Football Fest, a series of four bowl games, over three days. More than 200 room nights were booked in the area for the event.

DE Turf sports complex in Frederica in August was the site of the US Lacrosse Nationals, which drew dozens of teams and hundreds of players to the state. The event was streamed live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

And work is well underway ahead of December’s Slam Dunk to the Beach high school basketball tournament at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes. This past year’s event saw record ticket sales, attracted coverage from more than 50 media outlets and received more than 2.7 million impressions on Twitter. Each year the showcase for some of the most talented players in the country grows and increases its impact as a significant driver of tourists to the Delaware beach region during the winter season.

If 2018 was a homerun year for sports in Delaware, the tourism office is working to see that 2019 is a grand slam.