HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — With the recent construction of the Dorey Baseball Stadium and construction beginning on a new sports and events center, Henrico County is looking forward to solidifying its sports tourism within the Richmond area.
Last year, Henrico County’s sports tourism brought in nearly $60 million, according to the county. It hopes to push this figure even higher after recently establishing the Henrico Sports and Entertainment Authority.
The county’s new baseball stadium, Dorey Baseball Stadium, is set to not only serve the local community but also teams from across the region and country for baseball and softball tournaments.
Other tournaments the county also wants to increase in hosting are soccer and lacrosse.
The ambition doesn’t stop here as construction is underway for the Henrico County Sports and Events Center. The project will be completed in the fall of 2023. The venue will host basketball tournaments, graduation ceremonies and potentially concerts.
“Our opportunity to bring sports tourism events, to bring in a number of people who are coming from all over, that’s driving hotel room nights, eating in our restaurants [and] shopping in our retail stores,” Dennis Bickmeier, Henrico Sports and Entertainment Authority director, said. “It’s a win for the community from an economic impact standpoint.”
Bickmeier also hopes for the new center to one day get to a point where it will be able to host big events such as NCAA basketball championships and USA gymnastics competitions.
“[With] a facility as big as an arena, that gets us into discussions with the NCAA, you start thinking about men’s and women’s basketball championships. You start thinking about discussions with national governing bodies, perhaps USA gymnastics,” Bickmeier said.
For more on Henrico County’s new facilities, you can view its update here.