Inaugural Gulf Coast Challenge honored as 2018 Champion of Economic Impact in sports tourism

Gulf Coast Challenge recognized by Sports Destination 

Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, has announced the 2018 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. This year’s winners are responsible for contributing more than $700 million to the national economy over the past year.

Among the winners was The Gulf Coast Challenge Powered by The Mobile Sports Authority (MSA), produced in cooperation with GCB, Inc.

The inaugural Gulf Coast Challenge was held September 22, 2018 in the historic Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, AL. The Alabama A&M Bulldogs hosted the Southern University Jaguars for a Southwest Athletic Conference showdown.

The game was the culmination of a week full of events including concerts, a college and career fair, golf tournament, Battle of the Bands, and of course, a parade in the birthplace of Mardi Gras! More than 23,000 fans filled the stadium to cheer on their favorite team, while thousands more enjoyed another favorite pastime – parking lot tailgating! The event contributed over $6.6 million to the Mobile economy.

“We want to thank Sports Destination Management for recognizing our first Gulf Coast Challenge event as a Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. This is truly an honor. The Mobile Sports Authority’s mission is to procure and produce quality sporting events which attract visitors to the City and County of Mobile. By our account, this year’s Gulf Coast Challenge was the most economically impactful event ever hosted by the MSA. We are proud to share this prestigious award with our event partner/game-producers, GCB Entertainment,” said Danny Corte, Executive Director of the Mobile Sports Authority.

Tim Hale, Jr., Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Challenge, added “the Gulf Coast Challenge Committee is honored to receive such an outstanding award. Our goal was to make the Gulf Coast Challenge a signature event for the city and county of Mobile – bringing in people from all over the country to attend what we call Mobile’s Ultimate HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Experience. With the partnership of the Mobile Sports Authority and the continued support of the community, I feel this is just the beginning of many successful years to come for the Gulf Coast Challenge.”

All winners of awards have been recognized in a special feature published in the November/December 2018 issue of Sports Destination Management. The entire article with full details on the winners listed below can also be found online along with a special feature on economic impact.

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