The Chamber Impact: Attracting Sporting Tournaments

Mar 03, 2022
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There's no question tourism is one of our area's most significant economic drivers, particularly during the summer and at the peak of the ski season. But what about those long shoulder seasons, mid-March through early May, and again during November before ski season starts? Gallatin Valley Tournament Committee has taken this challenge head-on, and the results are proving successful.

Years ago, the committee formed to pursue, promote, and host high school sporting events to drive economic activity to the Gallatin Valley during these shoulder seasons when traditional tourism is lighter. The overall impact of all Montana High School Association (MHSA) tournaments, is estimated between $5,000,0000 and $6,000,000 per year, not including non-MHSA tournaments. That's a lot of revenue flowing through the state.

In 2010 Gallatin Valley hoteliers formed a Tourism Business Improvement District, which is known today as the Gallatin County Tourism Business Improvement District, which helps fund bidding to bring these tournaments to Bozeman and the surrounding area.

In 2019, Gallatin County saw $948,971,000 in non-resident spending during the peak travel season. Bringing tournaments to our area adds a big boost to our local businesses during the non-peak season. Visitors spend money on gas, food, lodging, and retail. It's estimated that each tournament shows revenue to breakdown as follows:

• Restaurants/Bars 25%

• Gas/Diesel 25%

• Grocery/Retail 20%

• Hotel/Motel 18%

• Other 12%

These tournaments add up!

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Ways to Get Involved

As a business owner there are several ways you can get involved.

  1. Volunteer. It takes nearly 1,000 volunteer hours to host these tournaments, so sparing a few extra hours to help goes a long way!
  2. Join the Gallatin Valley Tournament Committee. Sponsored by both the Bozeman and Belgrade Chambers of Commerce, this committee works to identify and pursue tournaments, negotiates the bids to host the events, and conducts fundraising to support the bids.
  3. Become a sponsor. If you're short on time, becoming a sponsor helps defray the tournament costs (facilities, hospitality rooms, officials, and security) so our bids are more competitive. If you're already a sponsor, we thank you for your support!

We already have a robust list of tournaments scheduled, with more in the works. If you're interested in joining the committee, volunteering your time, or becoming a sponsor, call 406.586.5421.

Gallatin Valley Tournament Committee

2022-2023 Events

  • 5B District Basketball | February 17-19, 2022 Belgrade High School
  • AA Divisional Basketball | March 3-5, 2022 Belgrade High School
  • Boys & Girls State B Basketball | March 10-12, 2022 Montana State University
  • AA Softball Divisional | May 19-21, 2022 Bozeman & Gallatin High Schools
  • A State Tennis | May 26-27, 2022 Bozeman and Gallatin High Schools (Hosted by Livingston)
  • AA Track & Field Divisional | May 20-21, 2022 Belgrade High School
  • All-State Band, Chorus & Orchestra | October 19-21, 2022 Montana State University
  • All Class Volleyball | November 10-12, 2022 Montana State University
  • State Swim Meet | February 10-11, 2023 Bozeman Swim Center
  • Boys & Girls State A Basketball | March 9-11, 2023 Montana State University
  • State A Softball | May 25-27, 2023 Belgrade High School
  • State AA-B Track & Field Meet | May 26-27, 2023 Gallatin High School

***As well as other State, Divisional and District Tournaments to come!!!

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