Rocky Top Sports World Welcomes Nearly 136,000 Attendees, Posts $47 million Economic Impact

Rocky Top Sports World welcomed nearly 136,000 people and contributed $47 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year, its seventh after opening in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Rocky Top Sports World welcomed nearly 136,000 people and contributed $47 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year, its seventh after opening in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. – In its seventh year of operation, Rocky Top Sports World welcomed more than 135,700 athletes, spectators, families, and friends to Gatlinburg.

The award-winning complex contributed $46.9 million in economic impact during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. “Rocky Top Sports World has surpassed all the expectations since its campus opened in Gatlinburg in 2014. The leap into sports tourism has proven to be a vital factor in Gatlinburg’s economic growth over the past seven years,” Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner said.

The venue hosted more than 90 events onsite where 25 weekends involved both indoor and outdoor events taking place simultaneously. The venue more than doubled bookings on weekdays compared to last year, coming in at 21 total weekday events.

“The City of Gatlinburg is extremely pleased with the performance of Rocky Top Sports World since 2014,” Gatlinburg city manager Cindy Cameron Ogle said. “The continued economic impact of the facility fulfills the vision of what Gatlinburg and Sevier County thought Rocky Top Sports World would mean to our community. The City offers our thanks to the staff for helping make the facility one of the nation’s most attractive venues for travel sports.”

Notable year seven achievements include being selected as the All-Star Multipurpose Sports Venue and the All-Star Indoor Sports Venue by SportsEvents Media Group. The 2021 awards mark the fifth year the venue has earned Readers’ Choice awards.

Rocky Top Sports World hosted the inaugural Gatlinburg All-American Bowl in December where more than 120 athletes from eight states participated. The venue also played host to the Kohl’s Kicking National Elite Camp and National Scholarship Camp which brought athletes from 45 states to the area.

Upcoming in 2021 and 2022, the venue will play host to new tournaments and events such as the venue’s first adult kickball event, Turf Wars put on by Play Mars Sports.

The venue will also hold successful return events such as the Smoky Mountain Cup hosted by High School Cup, which will showcase the largest number of participating teams to date. Other notable returning events include 15 bookings with National Soccer Events and FC Alliance, whose events contributed to nearly $10 million of the 2020-2021 economic impact total.