OAK BROOK – The DuPage Sports Commission, in partnership with the Western Golf Association and Medinah Country Club, has released the 2019 BWM Championship Economic Impact Report, recognizing the most significant sports event to call DuPage County home in 2019.
Returning to Medinah Country Club for the first time since 1966, the 2019 BMW Championship – previously known as the Western Open – welcomed an estimated 133,000 spectators from 44 U.S. states and international destinations, with approximately 30,000 travelers visiting from more than 50 miles away. These visitors contributed an estimated $19.5 million in new spending to DuPage and the surrounding region.
“DuPage has a rich tradition of sports, and Medinah Country Club represents a significant part of DuPage’s sports tourism history and its future,” said Justin Roach, Director of Business Development for the DuPage Sports Commission. “The BMW Championship is a perfect example of how sports provide economic, social and community-based benefits to DuPage County. When tourism thrives, so does business.”
Sports tourism – one of the fastest growing sectors of the travel industry – was identified through the strategic plan of the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau as a market offering growth in DuPage for visitation. As a result of a multi-phase sports assessment, the DuPage Sports Commission was launched in May 2019 to advocate for and actively support, retain, and recruit new sports events for DuPage County. Growing sports tourism is a key initiative of the 650 Challenge – the DuPage Coalition for Tourism’s new tourism plan to protect and grow this important sector of DuPage’s economy.
“Protecting and advancing the DuPage visitor industry, and its tremendous impact on the local and state economy, must be a wholly collaborative effort of DuPage stakeholders,” said Beth Marchetti, Executive Director of the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are releasing this comprehensive report showcasing the value the BMW Championship brought to the community as an example of successful tourism and more of what the future could hold for DuPage. With collaboration and greater investment, championships of this caliber and prestige can become a mainstay in DuPage, with economic benefits for all.”