SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.
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February 2017 20 www.sportseventsmagazine.com t SPECIAL Feature More than half, actually 57 percent, of parents have traveled regionally to attend youth sports events with 19 percent saying they have traveled cross country for events. "The major softball tournament for college scouts is in Colorado each year," said Oliver, who lives in Southern California. "So that was always a big tournament that's a week long. We got to go whitewater rafting, and see a Colorado Rockies game. Not a big vacation, but we made the most of it." Quality Time While youth sports costs money, it also costs time, and 74 percent of parents say the biggest drawback of youth sports is getting to spend less personal time with their kids. So families find combining a vacation destination with a sports event a very attractive way to spend quality time together. "I'm packing up the truck and leaving Marin (CA) for Federal Way (WA) Sunday morning," said Mike McCarthy, who spent years following his daughter's swim team and now follows her as a member of the University of Arizona women's swim team. "We're heading to the Pac-12 Championships for our President's week vacation." It's not just families who are looking for vacation fun. As SportsEvents Magazine reported in its 11th Annual Trends and Economic Impact Report in 2015, the amount of money athletes spend on each event they attend is beginning to flatten after years of growth following the Great Recession. Athlete spending increased just 2.5 percent in 2015, and adults also benefit when they can turn a sporting trip into a vacation. "I'm always looking for a marathon where we can run and have fun and it's a great city to visit," said Cynthia Jackson, who lives in Salt Lake City. "I've been to the New Year's Marathon (Los Angeles), the Boston Marathon, San Diego, Portland (OR), Phoenix, St. George (UT) Marathon three times, Grandma's Marathon in Duluth (MN), Estes Park (CO) and the Superstition Lost Dutchman Marathon in Apache Junction, (AZ)." Although her daughters are now grown, family vacations usually were centered around sports. "Almost all our sporting trips are vacations," said Jackson, whose daughters were in youth sports. "Emma had soccer tournaments in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and Annie had dance competitions in Orlando, LA and Las Vegas, and we made family vacations out of those as well." n 800.255.3743 groups.SHORESandISLANDS.com S A N D U S K Y • P U T - I N - B A Y • K E L L E Y S I S L A N D • P O R T C L I N T O N Play Here America's Sports & Family Fun Capital