Kalamazoo sporting events generated $28.5 million in direct visitor spending last year, report says

(Discover Kalamazoo Sports Facebook page)

City continues to grow as a sports destination, with over 30,000 athletes visiting in 2023

More than 30,000 athletes visited Kalamazoo for sporting events in 2023, resulting in $28.5 million in estimated direct visitor spending for the region, according to Discover Kalamazoo Sports.

“Kalamazoo continues to punch above its weight class in a few niche sports such as ice hockey, figure skating, wrestling, and tennis,” said Brian Persky, Director of Business Development at Discover Kalamazoo.

“2023 was still one of our strongest years on record in terms of the economic impact generated from sports events in the community. However, we believe a gap still exists in our ability to host more diverse sports events with higher participation rates. Our team at Discover Kalamazoo continues to strategically work towards achieving these goals in 2024 and beyond.”

Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, Kalamazoo has several new and returning events on the horizon to look forward to:

  • The Ziegler Kalamazoo Marathon will be back this spring on Sunday, May 5. Start and finish will be downtown at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place and route throughout Kalamazoo.
  • The Black American Cheer Association will be hosting a summer cheer camp in Kalamazoo for the first time, held at Western Michigan University’s Student Rec Center on July 31- August 2.
  • The USTA Boys’ 18 & 16 National Championships are scheduled to continue for its 81st year and will be hosted at Kalamazoo College’s Stowe Stadium, Western Michigan University’s Sorensen Courts, and other surrounding sites.
  • The 2024 Teen CrossFit Games will be held at Wings Event Center on August 27-September 1, which will be the first international sporting event held in Kalamazoo.