Could McMinnville become a sports tourism destination by promoting venues within the community that are ideal for sporting events?
Tourism Development Board members are considering becoming a partner of Play Tennessee, an online marketing website that strives to connect sporting events with available venues across Tennessee.
“This is all about getting people to come to our city,” said TDB administrator Dayron Deaton-Owens. “This organization was created by a couple guys who used to play professional sports. In the offseason they wanted to host clinics. The problem they found was they had a difficult time finding facilities to host clinics.”
Created was Play Tennessee, a nonprofit corporation which promotes venues ideal for youth, amateur, college, and professional leagues. Annual membership fee is $1,000.
Owens says registered members can promote any aspects of the community that would be of interest to sporting events seeking venues, such as the city’s newly remodeled and expanded Milner Recreation Center, indoor tennis and racquetball courts, outdoor tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, Frisbee golf course and Gilley Pool.
The Warren County School System could include its sports-related amenities – gymnasiums, outdoor fields, if it so desired.
“It will also include how many hotel rooms or Airbnb’s you have in your area,” said Owens. “If you attract these events, can you house the individuals who would come into town for them? All the information would be in one place. What I really like about it is it already has over 112 total sports already included.” Owens suggested a partnership with McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department. “I like this idea,” said TDB member Christy Ross. TDB chair Sarah Cantrell added, “It feels like good timing, given that we have a brand new recreation center, to at least explore this as an option.”
Parks and Recreation director Justin Scott will be contacted regarding the possibility of a partnership between the city and TDB regarding Play Tennessee, with each paying half the annual registration fee.