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Discover Puerto Rico promotes sporting events bringing $20M+ windfall

A series of competitions and special training sessions for youth and collegiate athletes will generate more than $20 million for Puerto Rico’s economy and reiterate Puerto Rico’s development as a destination for sporting events and travel, Discover Puerto Rico announced.

The events will take place between December 2022 and March 2023 and will promote the development of athletes from Puerto Rico and U.S. states in wrestling, swimming, diving, gymnastics, and volleyball.  

Some of the events, like the Laurie Hernández Champions Challenge, are being held for the first time in Puerto Rico. Others, like the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championship, is being celebrated outside the continental United States for the first time. This is the most important wrestling competition at the collegiate level in the United States.

“Puerto Rico is a proven destination handling high-caliber sporting events and producing world-class athletes. These events, in addition to boosting our tourism industry, contribute to the development of talent both locally and outside Puerto Rico,” said Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean.

“We’re honored to host these events, and we are eager to see the talent of so many young athletes at our sports facilities,” said Dean.

“This is achieved with the close collaboration between our sales team at Discover Puerto Rico, the sports community, and the different segments of the industry that can offer the services to make this a reality,” said Ed Carey, chief sales officer of Discover Puerto Rico.  

Hosting sports events in Puerto Rico is an essential part of the strategies to attract visitors to the island and is directed by Discover Puerto Rico’s Senior Sales Manager, Carlos Deliz.

The Laurie Hernández Champions Challenge 2022
This gymnastics competition is going to be celebrated for the first time at the Puerto Rico Convention Center Dec. 15-18. It is the flagship event of Olympic medalist Laurie Hernández, of Puerto Rican roots. Some 700 athletes of different levels of development are expected to participate, first in the San Juan Classic, which is the last qualifier event, and the Champions Challenge, which will take place on the last two days of competitions. This event is expected to generate some 1,195 room nights and an economic impact of $900,000, Discover Puerto Rico stated.

Iron Caribbean Sports Winter Swimming Training Center 2022-2023
This event serves as one of the training circuits for athletes in the swimming and diving programs of 35 US mainland colleges. In total, 1,650 athletes are expected to arrive between December and January to train at the facilities of the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, at the sports complexes Efraín Calcaño in Bayamón and Guillermo Angulo in Carolina, the San Juan Natatorium, and the pools at Encantada residential complex in Trujillo Alto.

This event is organized by Iron Caribbean Sports and has been held for more than a decade on the Island. The prospect is that these trainings will generate about 3,500 room nights and contribute about $8.5 million to the economy, Discover Puerto Rico said.

Caribbean Volleyball Championships
About 150 US teams and 350 lineups from Puerto Rico will face each other in one of the premier youth development competitions for women’s and men’s volleyball. The main hall of the Convention Center will be transformed into a sport complex full of courts where matches will take place in two rounds. The first will be Feb. 24-26, and the second March 3-5. This event is anticipated to have an economic impact of more than $10 million.

National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championships
The Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan will be transformed into a wrestling competition center where from March 9-11, 2023, the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championship will be played.

This is the first time that the main event of this association, which brings together more than 150 American universities and educational centers, is held outside the continental United States.

It is estimated that participants and visitors to the event will generate some 2,000 room nights and generate more than $1.8 million for the local economy.

Puerto Rico’s selection took place in collaboration with UPR’s sports director in Río Piedras, José Betancourt, and Jerry Orsini, who will serve as the organizer of the event in Puerto Rico.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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