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Growth of Sports Tourism Continues in Myrtle Beach Area

October 15, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has long been renowned as a top travel destination for families; however, throughout the last several years, the area has become a growing destination for sports tourism.

With the addition of the new sporting complex opening March 2015, this burgeoning sports tourism market is on track to becoming a world-class destination for teams to compete.

“Talented athletes have been coming to the Myrtle Beach area for years in the name of spirited competition, and the new facilities and amenities being offered are a fantastic way to host even more sporting events,” said Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. “We have truly become a destination that appeals to athletes of all ages and abilities – from fast-paced runners and cross-country sprinters to revered basketball, baseball and volleyball players. And when they’re not competing, these athletes and their friends and family have a wealth of wonderful attractions to explore along our 60 miles of pristine beaches.”

Myrtle Beach Sports Center

Work on the Myrtle Beach Sports Center began in early February 2014. The complex will include space for eight basketball courts or 16 volleyball courts, a cafe and retail area, an entertainment zone and seating capacity for 1,500 to 2,000 spectators. This space is configurable for numerous indoor sports.

In its first year, the indoor sports complex is projected to generate $6.9 million in direct visitor spending. By its fifth year, that number is expected to reach $28.4 million annually. Two-thirds of the additional visitor revenue will occur outside of the peak summer tourism season.

When it’s completed, the Myrtle Beach Sports Center will join Grand Park at The Market Common and the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex as the latest state-of-the-art facility capable of hosting large numbers of sporting events and teams in the Myrtle Beach area.

Go Ape Zipline and Treetop Adventure

The North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex recently opened the Go Ape Zipline and Treetop Adventure course, which includes five ziplines. It’s the first course of its kind in the state of South Carolina.

Running Events

For running enthusiasts, there are countless opportunities in the Myrtle Beach area for visitors to run the Grand Strand, and those opportunities continue to grow.

The popular Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon returns on Oct. 19, 2014. This race features more than five miles of oceanfront running and was chosen by the vacation rental website FlipKey as one of the top 50 races and marathons worth traveling for.

On Dec. 13, 2014, more than 3,000 youth athletes will descend upon the Myrtle Beach area for the 2014 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships. The ages for the competition range between 7 and 18 years old.

Looking ahead to next year, the 18th Annual Myrtle Beach Marathon will make race enthusiasts fall in love with running all over again when they take off from the starting line on Feb. 14, 2015.

A race specializing in girl power, the Divas Half Marathon and 5K Series, returns to North Myrtle Beach on April 12, 2015.

Beach Ball Classic

The 2014 Beach Ball Classic returns to the Myrtle Beach area on Dec. 26 to Dec. 31, 2014 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. In its 34th year, the premier holiday basketball tournament showcases the nation’s top high school teams and future NBA standouts. Former players have included Kobe BryantJason Kidd and Raymond Felton.

For a complete listing of sport-related events taking place throughout the Myrtle Beach area, visit

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