Larry Needle, Executive Director of PHL SPORTS, part of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, discussed his office’s work in bringing sports convention and travel business to Philadelphia. Formed as the Philadelphia Sports Congress, PHL Sports pitches this city for professional, amateur and collegiate sports. Citing the incredible infrastructure Philadelphia boasts, including hotels, restaurants, a subway and public transit and of course, the sports complex, he described the draw of Philadelphia. Sports travelers need food and entertainment beyond their events and Philadelphia has museums, parks and children’s attractions nearby.
He talked about the impact sports has on our economy, beyond their initial spending, they are more likely to return to the city for vacations or other events. Beyond the professional sports franchises, heritage collegiate relays and local running events, Philadelphia looks forward to hosting a number of the world’s biggest sporting events over the next five years, including six NCAA Championships, WrestleMania 40 in 2024 and an epic summer of 2026 which will include the PGA Championship, Major League Baseball All-Star Game and FIFA World Cup 2026. The storied Army-Navy Game will return in 2027.
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