ECNL Announces New Contract Agreement to Keep ECNL National Event in Seminole County, Florida

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. (Dec. 27, 2016) – Orlando North, Seminole County Sports Tourism, Central Florida Sports Commission, Orlando City Youth Soccer, and Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) announced today that a new multi-year agreement has been signed between the organizations for the ECNL National Event to remain in Seminole County from 2017-2019. It was also announced that the parties will be expanding their relationship by adding the inaugural Boys ECNL National Event in January, 2018. ECNL is hosting its’ National Event in Sanford this week for the seventh consecutive year.

Even before the May 2016 opening of the $27 million Seminole County Sports Complex in Sanford, officials and business leaders throughout Orlando North, Seminole County were committed to cultivating their share of the very lucrative sports tourism marketplace, which encourages travel to the destination to engage in or view sports-related activities.

This single economic development initiative involving municipalities, sports and tourism partners is one of Orlando North, Seminole County’s most rapidly growing tourism sectors.  In fact, sports tourism in general is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry worldwide.  It fosters economic development, infrastructure development, community visibility and spirit, volunteer and leadership development and new partnership development between sport, businesses, tourism sector and communities

As noted by Chairman John Horan, Seminole County BCC, “On behalf of Seminole County, we are thrilled to extend our partnership with ECNL. This event drives over $2,000,000 in economic impact to our county and is a great example of why Seminole County is a great place to live, work and play.”

Adds Jason Siegel, interim president and CEO, Central Florida Sports Commission, “ECNL has been a valued partner for seven years generating more than $25,000,000 in economic impact for Seminole County and the Central Florida area over that period of time. We are so pleased that we will have the opportunity to not only host the ECNL, but also host the Boys ECNL. Thank you to Seminole County leadership and Orlando City Youth Soccer for their continued support as we strive to make Seminole County and Central Florida ‘the soccer destination’ in the southeast.”

“The ECNL is excited to return to Seminole County for a 3-year partnership. Seminole County is a great destination that the teams love playing and traveling to. Orlando North, Seminole County Tourism, Central Florida Sports Commission and Orlando City Youth Soccer Club help to make this a great experience for players coaches and fans,” adds Jen Winnagle, ECNL Commissioner.

To speak with an Orlando North, Seminole County representative on ECNL and other sports marketing initiatives, please contact Ashley Moore or Mary Jane Kolassa as noted below.

About Orlando North, Seminole County:

A short drive from all the major attractions of Central Florida and home to Orlando Sanford International Airport, Orlando North, Seminole County offers first-rate accommodations for less, varied meeting & event venues, and diverse dining and shopping in its charming communities. Known as “Orlando’s Natural Oasis,” the destination offers visitors a wide array of thrilling outdoor activities from an aerial adventure course with Zip Lining to paddling alongside manatees in clear freshwater springs and rivers. Long known as an exciting and affordable meetings/groups destination, Orlando North also offers an array of sports and training facilities, including the new 102-acre Seminole County Sports Complex. For destination information call 1-800-800-7832 or 407-665-2900 or visit

About the Central Florida Sports Commission:

The Central Florida Sports Commission pursues marquee and amateur sports events for Central Florida that drive visitors to our region. The Sports Commission represents the City of Orlando as well as Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. In 2015, the Sports Commission’s event calendar featured 77 events that drove more than 234,000 visitors, 196,000 room nights and $131 million in economic impact to the Central Florida region. Anchored by marquee events the American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship and Copa America Centenario, the Central Florida Sports Commission through its 93 events is projecting to drive nearly 300,000 visitors and $135 million in economic impact in 2016. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Ashley Moore, 407-665-1172 /
Mary Jane Kolassa, 407-463-0040 /


General characteristics of sports events travelers in the United States.

Information published by the Travel Industry Association of America indicates that:

  • U.S. resident travel has increased significantly in volume during the 1990’s. In addition, Americans have been taking a much wider variety of trips than in earlier decades. Sport event-related travel has been growing in popularity.
  • Two-fifths of U.S. adults are sport event travelers. In the past five years, 75.3 million U.S. adults attended an organized sports events, competition or tournament as either a spectator or as a participant while on a trip of 50 miles or more, one-way, away from home.
  • Men outnumber women as sports event travelers. Forty-five percent of men (42.7 million) and 31 percent of women (32.6 million) attended sports events while traveling in the past five years.
  • Professional and amateur sports events are attended equally while traveling. Among amateur events, high school and college sports are most popular.
  • Attending the sports event is the primary purpose of trip for most sports event travelers(76%).
  • Most sports event travelers are spectators (84%). One-fourth of all sports event travelers attended events to watch their children or grandchildren play.
  • Attending sports events ranks 10th as a trip activity. Six percent of all 1997 U.S. resident person-trips (60 million) included sports events as a trip activity.
  • Most sports events travelers drive to their destinations, as is true for U.S. travelers overall. Air travel is more common among multi-activity travelers, and among those spending $500 or more per trip.
  • The average party size of sports events travelers is similar to all U.S. travelers, but a higher percentage of sports events parties have children (30% vs. 21%).
  • Most sports event travelers stay overnight in a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast (52%). Although a higher percentage stay in hotel/motel/B&B, sports events travelers average fewer nights in the hotel than do U.S. travelers overall. Multi-activity travelers and those in the highest spending category are most likely to stay at a hotel/motel/B&B and report longer trips, on average. Sports event only travelers and those in the lowest spending group are much more likely to travel just for the day.
  • Sports events traveler spending is similar to the spending done by all U.S. travelers. Multi-activity travelers spend more than sports event only travelers ($615 vs. $235, means).
  • Similar to all U.S. travel, the largest share of sports event travelers come from and go to the South census region. Sports event travelers, however, are more likely than all U.S. travelers to originate from and travel to the Midwest census region.
  • Sports event travelers are generally younger than total U.S. travelers. They are also more likely to have children and be employed full-time. Sports events only travelers are more likely than multi-activity travelers to be married and have children.
  • Sports events travelers like all travelers, are most likely from the Parents Lifestage. Coinciding with the higher share of children, sports event travelers, and especially sports event only travelers, are more likely than other travelers to be in the Parents Lifestage.

Source “Developing Sports Tourism, July 2001: