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Huntsville's sports tourism industry growing

Whether it's swimming, water polo, or gymnastics, people know about Huntsville and want to bring their championships here.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville is a city of champions. At least, this is where come go to get crowned.

More high-profile sporting events are coming to Huntsville, from Paralympic Cycling to collegiate ice hockey championships. The city is poised to grow its sports tourism business, and the dollars that come with it.

Joel Lamp, Convention Sales Manager, Huntsville/Madison County CVB, says, "Whether it's swimming, whether it's water polo, gymnastics, people know about our venues and they want to bring their championships here. We had the southeast collegiate hockey championship a few weeks ago, And then you look at gymnastics and we've got people coming from all over the country."

Lamp shared that the financial impact of these two events, SEC hockey and Elevate the Stage, was three-quarters of a million dollars.

And that's just scratching the surface of events bringing crowds to the Rocket City. Other recent draws include the Cross Country National Championship, Beach Volleyball Championship, and Paralympics Cycling.

Coming attractions? Mark Russell, Executive Director, Huntsville Sports Commission, says, "Just in April we have Paralympics Cycling. We have the Korn Ferry Golf Tournament. In a couple of weeks we'll be hosting the 5U curling tournament. I've always wanted to be one of those sweeper guys so I'm really excited about that."

And that's just the start. Later in 2022, Huntsville will play host to the ASUN Men's Lacrosse Championships, the USTA Girls 16s Clay Court National Championship, three beach volleyball championships, and the annual Rocket City Marathon.

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