A message from the City Manager of Victoria

Promoting sports tourism is a winning bet

A message from Jesús A. Garza, City Manager of Victoria.

Over 900 athletes were able to experience Victoria’s premier athletic facilities at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Winter Games earlier this month, and we hope there will be many more. to be continued.

It was a historic weekend for our city and for the TAAF itself. When Victoria succeeded last year in hosting the TAAF Winter Games through 2024, we became the first city outside of a metropolitan area to host this event which attracts athletes from Texas and neighboring states.

The fact that we were able to secure this contract is not only a testament to the collaboration between the City of Victoria (Parks & Recreation and Convention & Visitors Bureau) and Victoria ISD to craft the winning bid; it shows the benefit of our community’s continued intentional effort to invest in facilities that will help make our city a destination for sports tourism.

Victoria affirmed its commitment to cultivating sports tourism when developing our comprehensive plan 2035. Tourism is a driver of economic development: during the TAAF Winter Games, hundreds of athletes visited our community, ate in our restaurants and slept in our hotels. This not only brings new funds to our community, but contributes to economic diversity by supporting the hospitality sector.

Having a solid range of sports facilities and competition opportunities is also beneficial for local sports fans. In addition to out-of-town visitors, the TAAF Winter Games welcomed many local athletes and spectators who did not need to leave their homes to attend a high-level amateur sporting event.

Our efforts to develop sports tourism are reflected in our investments in facilities such as the Youth Sports Complex, the Riverside Soccer Complex and our disc golf courses, all of which were included in our winning bid. The second round of the TAAF Winter Games in March will include facilities not featured the first time around as we host golf (Riverside Golf Course), flag football and potentially other sports. This year, we will be conducting an in-depth assessment of Victoria’s sports facilities to fill in the gaps and make our programming even more competitive.

We will also continue to work with VISD and other community partners to share resources and provide facilities that the City would not be able to provide on its own, such as the VISD natatorium which drew a crowd for the swim meet. Our community has many great facilities run by our schools, the county and other groups, and we want to make sure these resources are included when we show strangers what Victoria has to offer.

Of course, our facilities won’t make a big difference if tournament organizers don’t know we’re here. We are working to be more proactive in promoting Victoria as a destination for sport tourism, a process that will include hiring a new sport tourism manager and seeking out bid opportunities to welcome more competitions and tournaments. These efforts paid off when we were awarded the TAAF contract, and successfully hosting the Winter Games will raise Victoria’s profile as we seek more opportunities.

As we continue to improve our facilities and promote our event hosting capabilities, you can expect to see more events, more visitors, and more revenue that we can use to improve the quality of life in our community. Victoria has the ability to be a premier destination for sports tourism, and I’m sure the 900 athletes who competed here this month would agree.

Jesús A. Garza is the City Manager for the City of Victoria.

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