Feb 10, 2022

Sports San Diego Launched To Recruit, Support, and Host World-Class Sports Events

SDCCU Holiday Bowl Organization To Lead Effort

With the support of the San Diego Tourism Authority and Tourism Marketing District, SDCCU Holiday Bowl officials announced today the formation of Sports San Diego which will serve as the primary organization responsible for marketing San Diego as a sports destination and driving visitor demand through recruiting, supporting, and hosting world-class sports events.

The organization responsible for driving sports tourism in San Diego has evolved many times to meet the increased and changing demands of the market as well as opportunities within our community. Sports San Diego is strategically aligned under the non-profit San Diego Bowl Game Association(501c3); organizers of one of the region’s longest standing annual tourism driving sports events.

Sports events have been a pillar of the tourism industry in San Diego dating back to the 1960s. San Diego has been successful in hosting some of the largest events and most iconic brands in the world including the Super Bowl, X-Games, MLB All-Star Game, U.S. Open (golf), Breeders’ Cup, and more.

“The launch of Sports San Diego is the definition of big city energy,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “San Diego is always ready to show the world what we have to offer: unbeatable weather, world-class entertainment venues, an incredible hospitality industry and unparalleled quality of life. I’m excited for Sports San Diego to bring more world-class sporting events to San Diego and boost our regional economy.”

“We could not be more excited for this opportunity,” said San Diego Bowl Game Association CEO, Mark Neville. “When I started with the Holiday Bowl in 1991, it was under the Greater San Diego Sports Association umbrella so this opportunity is really coming full circle for us as an organization. A few years ago, we took a strategic look at how we can do more for the community and that resulted in growing our scope to host more events. We brought in the Navy vs. Notre Dame football game to town in 2018, and in 2020 we successfully bid on the 2022 Transplant Games of America. Being the primary organization for marketing San Diego as a sports destination is a natural for us.”

Several San Diego companies have already stepped up to the plate to become Founding Partners of the organization including: Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Kaiser Permanente, General Dynamics NASSCO, and Rady Children’s Hospital.

According to Tourism Economics, nearly 180 million people traveled to a sports event in the United States as a participant or spectator in 2019 resulting in $45.1 billion in economic impact. It is estimated that sports events generate over 300,000 hotel room nights locally each year.

Julie Coker, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority said, “Sports are a critical component of our local tourism industry, attracting more visitors while cementing San Diego’s reputation for health and wellness. The creation of Sports San Diego will help us up our game as work together to grow this market.”

For more information on Sports San Diego, visit SportsSanDiego.org.