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Delaware Tourism Office to help new and existing sports facilities bring event to the state

The Delaware Tourism Office is launching the Delaware Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund to provide support to First State sports facilities.

The fund was established through the FY24 Bond Bill - and the tourism office will start accepting applications for funding March 1 and ending on April 12.

Delaware Tourism Office Director Jessica Welch.

"It was really created to support new or existing sports facilities that hold events and tournaments and championships throughout the year that bring in out-of-state visitors, and that put people into our hotel rooms and really create an economic impact at the state and local level,” said Welch. “So this fund will help us provide financial support to those facilities so Delaware can really remain competitive when it comes to sports tourism."

Delaware recently hosted the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Tournament, the PGA’s 2022 BMW Championship, the MEAC Volleyball Championship, and plenty of regional high school and youth sports events.

Welch says the plan is to help support a range of different facilities.

"We're really expecting applications from smaller venues that maybe hold high school lacrosse tournaments that bring in people from around this region from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, different states around us to the larger facilities that might hold even bigger events," said Welch.

Welch notes events that take place on weekends in the summer bring a lot of money to the state because they’re held consistently, and they create a reputation at the facility they’re held.

Officials expect the fund will help the state to attract more visitors and continue to shine a light on reasons to visit Delaware.

The Delaware Tourism Office will hold two informative webinars for possible applicants to learn about the fund later this month.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.