Sports Master Plan

Visit Buffalo Niagara’s efforts to bring amateur athletic events through the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission have proven to be big business for Erie County’s tourism economy.  In 2014, VBN was responsible for bringing 169 events to the area that attracted 122,839 athletes and fans and generated 101,410 room nights – with an economic impact to Erie County of $59,800,514.  To keep the competitive momentum in the sports marketing arena moving, VBN’s board of directors approved the implementation of a comprehensive sports master plan to be executed in 2015.  This plan will provide strategic direction for VBN/BNSC’s sales and marketing efforts to secure future events, which will provide a greater economic return to the county.  The plan includes the following elements:

  • Regional facility and existing marketing assessment
  • Updated Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission Sports Development plan
  • Conduct a comprehensive analysis of sports tourism market vs. similar cities to help determine current market position
  • Conduct an evaluation of existing community needs and gaps through interviews and surveys of existing public, non-profit and private sports organizations, groups and institutions
  • Evaluate major sports events hosted in the community over the last ten years to determine best practices and lessons learned
  • Develop a sports tourism opportunity profile and market assessment that utilizes and builds on existing sports facilities to attract new sporting events
  • Market potential study
  • Evaluate regional and national sports market trends and potential opportunities for existing and new facilities
  • Evaluate untapped markets that will work to drive private investment into study results and recommendations

Based on the recommendation of a working group of the BNCS, VBN contracted with Indianapolis-based TSE Consulting who provides strategic advice to cities seeking to use sporting events to enhance economic development and provide social benefits to lead this project.  The final report is available here.