Amateur sporting events brings big bucks to Lee County

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- You hear it on WINK News all the time; big events bring in big spenders, but exactly how much?

Various sporting events in 2014 booked a total of more than 159,000 hotel rooms, a 12 percent increase from the year before.

Those people visiting spent $63 million in Lee County this year. The North American Roller Hockey Championships was a huge contributor to that number.

“We’re very lucky,” said Lee County Park and Recreations Director, Dave Harner, “and the numbers just keep growing every year that tournament has gotten bigger and bigger.”

November is normally a quieter month for tourism, but not in 2014. Annual events like the Gulf Coast Showcase basketball tournament that celebrated it’s second year at Germain Arena helped bring in $11 million.

“It continues to grow,” Harner said, “it’s amazing that we’re able to, every year, we can see an increase in our sporting events.”

July is Lee County’s busiest month for amateur sports. The Perfect Game baseball tournament help bring in nearly $17 million that month.

Spring training season for the Red Sox and Twins brings in $50 million, meaning, in all, sports bring over $100 million to Lee County.

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