Delaware Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund

Established in 2023, the fund provides grants in support of sports facilities (arenas, courts, fields, aquatics facilities, track and field, etc.) that will drive regional and national events to Delaware, positively impacting the state and local economy.

Applications for the fund are now closed. For reference, previous application materials can be downloaded at this link. 

The Delaware Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund Review Panel will meet on Monday, May 6, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. in the Delaware Room of the Delaware Public Archives located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd North, Dover, DE 19901. To view the meeting agenda, visit this link.

The Delaware Tourism Office held an informational webinar for prospective applicants to learn more about the Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund. The webinar recording can be viewed at this link.

Who is Eligible*

Qualified facilities must:

  • Be a facility within the state of Delaware, specifically a high school, collegiate, or recreational venue that generates positive incremental state tax benefits to the State, is used for public purposes, and regularly hosts sports tourism events.
  • Own the property on which the sports facility is to be constructed or renovated or be under a ground lease acceptable to the Division review panel.
  • Possess sufficient committed funds, including funding from this program if approved, to achieve successful completion of the project.
  • Have a useful life of a length satisfactory to the panel with a detailed maintenance plan and a funding source for maintenance.
  • Promote the Office to visitors attending sporting events at their sports facility.
  • Indicate tourism-based events it intends to target for their sports facility in program application.

Award Criteria*

Applications will be judged by a panel of experts on:

  • The project's support of the mission of The Delaware Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund.
  • The geographic area where the facility is located, including if there are other sports facilities in the area.
  • The potential economic impact on the state and local economy if the facility is provided funding.
  • Other sources of funding secured by the applicant for the facility, including private, state, and local investment committed to the project.
  • For applications requesting funding for facility improvements, a thorough and substantiated explanation of how funding would enhance their facility and its ability to attract more sports tourism events or increase their current sports tourism event offerings. Facilities must indicate existing tourism-based events or targeted events in the application.
  • How the applicant will recognize the fund's investment in the facility (e.g.: signage on the property banners; etc.). Recognition will be mutually agreed-upon following approval of the application.

Additional Considerations*

  • The need in the geographic region within which the project is to be located, including other similar sports facilities.
  • General geographic diversity of projects under consideration for or already-approved for funding.
  • Facility's readiness to proceed with construction or renovation.
  • Economic feasibility of the project to support ongoing projected maintenance and operation.
  • Local support for the project.
  • Sources and level of funding commitments other than support from the fund.
  • Owner, operator and manager of the project.
  • Economic impact on the local economy and overall economic benefit to the State.

*Other conditions and qualifications may apply. Complete regulations can be found at this link, beginning on page 83. 

How to Apply
Applicant shall submit a completed original application concerning the project to the Division for review, together with 10 printed copies and an electronic copy included on a thumb drive. All applications must be signed by persons authorized to bind the applicant. Applicants may obtain application forms by visiting the fund’s website by clicking here.

Minimum Application Requirement Checklist

  • The existing or proposed facility must be in Delaware that generates positive incremental state tax benefits to the State, is used for public purposes, and regularly hosts sports tourism events.
  • The application must indicate tourism-based events it intends to target for their sports facility.
  • At least 1 letter of support from a State or local government official representing the area in which the sports facility will be constructed.
  • A description of anticipated use and any feasibility or economic studies or reports completed in the past 5 years.
  • Requested funds cannot be used for supplies.
  • How the applicant will recognize the fund's investment in the facility (e.g.: signage on the property; banners; etc.).
  • The potential economic impact on the state and local economy if the facility is provided funding.
  • Other sources of funding secured by the applicant for the facility, including private, state, and local investment committed to the project.

Looking for help?

Contact visit.delaware@delaware.gov for assistance with your application. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much grant money can I request? We encourage applicants to apply for the cost of the project.
  • Can I apply for supplies for my facility and/or recreation league? No. This fund does not supply grants for supplies.
  • Does my project have to be completed within a certain time frame? The Division shall determine, in its sole discretion, those circumstances in which a grantee must repay all or part of a grant (i.e.: grant recapture). Recapture may include substantial or complete cessation of operations by the applicant, or failure to reach completion of the project in a timely manner. The recapture obligation shall be consistent with the fund purposes and should extend for the number of years necessary to realize the objectives of the grant, which is considered as the recapture period. Should an applicant fail to start construction on the sports facility within a certain period of time (e.g. 2 years), the Division has the right to recapture grant funds.
  • Will I be notified if my application is missing information? If an application or requested document or information is incomplete, inaccurate, or provided untimely, the Division will inform the applicant and further consideration of the application will be stayed and taken out of the order in which the application was originally received, if and until the requested documents or information are received by the Division.
  • What happens after I submit my application? The panel will utilize a rubric process during its consideration of an application.
  • What is the timeline for the approval process? The Division shall use its reasonable best efforts to complete its review of the application within 60 days from the date it deems an application complete.
  • What happens if my application is selected for a grant? Before grant funds are issued, the facility must enter into a written grant agreement in the form required by the Division. Failure to enter into a timely grant agreement may result in the Division rescinding its approval.