Sports tourism is a $7 billion business and West Michigan can get a bigger piece of that pie, according to Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission.
Guswiler was the featured speaker for the Huntington Breakfast Lecture October 11 at the Seidman Center, sponsored by the Seidman College of Business. Guswiler said West Michigan offers many of the key components needed to attract major youth and amateur sporting events.
“Sports clubs and organizations are looking for cities that offer quality venues, with close hotels and access to restaurants and the city,” he said.
Guswiler said in its seven-year existence, the West Michigan Sports Commission has sponsored 300 events for 315,000 athletes that have generated $100 million in visitor spending. He said the Pure Michigan campaign is helping promote the sporting industry with Pure Michigan Sports.
Several major sporting events are already planned in West Michigan for 2014 including the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five Camp, The NCAA DII Track and Field Championships, the U.S. Table Tennis Open, the U.S. Rowing National Master’s Championships, and the USA Triathlon Long Course National Championship.
Guswiler is currently overseeing the Meijer State Games of Michigan and construction and operation of the Art Van Sports Complex opening in 2015.