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Sports Business Journal Ranks HHR in Nation's Top10 Minor League Sports Markets 2017

Published: Oct 4, 2017

HHR only PA market and 1 of only 2 areas within the U.S. Mid-Atlantic to crack the TOP10 list in 2017.

HARRISBURG, PA (Oct. 4, 2017) — Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal ranked Pennsylvania’s Hershey & Harrisburg Region (HHR) as the nation’s seventh (#7) best minor league market in the nation for 2017.

The Hershey & Harrisburg Region is the only market in Pennsylvania to make the 2017 list, and one of only two areas within the U.S. Mid-Atlantic states to crack the TOP10, according to the Hershey & Harrisburg Sports and Events Authority (HHSE).

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See Complete List of TOP10 & TOP25 Minor League Markets 2017

“The local support for our sports teams is incredible, and the home teams often get a boost from visitors who are traveling from all over the Mid-Atlantic to experience the destination,” said HHSE Executive Director Gregg Cook. 

The Hershey Bears® have a storied past as winners of 11 Calder Cup Championships and they lead the American Hockey League (AHL) in attendance for more than a decade.

Hershey Bears Hockey Club PHOTO: GIANT Center(sm) is home to Hershey Bears® Hockey, multiple PIAA state championships, U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, concerts & events. The complex seats 10,500 for permanent seating & 12,500 with floor seating.

The region is also home to the Harrisburg Senators Baseball Club, AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals, who play at FNB Field on City Island in Harrisburg.

Harrisburg Senators BaseballBryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg lead the extensive list of big-league names who have come up through the Harrisburg baseball club.

PHOTO: FNB Field, located on the 63-acre City Island complex in the middle of the Susquehanna River, is home to Harrisburg Senators Baseball & Harrisburg City Islanders Soccer. The unique sports & events venue seats 6,187.

The Harrisburg City Islanders command a strong following in the United Soccer League and the Harrisburg Heat indoor soccer team draw fans to their home turf at the New Holland Arena in the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center (FSC).

PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center Sport Court

PHOTO: PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg provides one-million-square-feet of event space under one roof with a 172,000 square-foot Expo Hall (pictured) and 7,318 seat New Holland Area.  

"The region is consistently recognized for being a top destination for sports fans from near and far for the same reasons we have become a prime destination for youth sporting events and tournaments," said Cook.

According to Cook, it is Hershey’s family-friendly atmosphere paired with Harrisburg’s blend of history, culture, and nightlife that contribute to the region consistently appearing on this list of top minor league sports market.

But in addition to having a loyal base of local sports fans, the region is also extremely fortunate to have world-class attractions and amenities with a wide range of affordable lodging and event venues.

"All of those factors, plus our central location to the major population centers within the Mid-Atlantic Region, make us one of the most easily accessible markets for youth sporting events and a highly desirable destination for tournament organizers," said Cook.

Hersheypark - Coaster and Kissing Tower

PHOTO: Hersheypark® was founded in 1906 by Milton S. Hershey as a leisure park for employees of his chocolate company. Today the park covers 110-acres and featuring over 70 rides and attractions including The Kissing Tower (right) and an always expanding menu of cool coasters like Fahrenheit (pictured).

The Hershey & Harrisburg Region previously earned consecutive honors as the #1 Minor League Market in U.S. in 2009 & 2011 from Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, which compiles their ranking every two years.

Read: Breaking Down Top 10


ABOUT THE HERSHEY HARRISBURG SPORTS & EVENTS AUTHORITY (HHSE)                                                                    

The mission of HHSE is to promote sports tourism and events initiatives in the Hershey Harrisburg Region, to forge mutually beneficial partnerships with new and existing clients, support locally produced events to expand audiences, and drive economic development as it relates to sports and events tourism. HHSE is a division of Visit Hershey & Harrisburg.  Visit Hershey & Harrisburg serves as the official non-profit partnership-based Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for Dauphin and Perry Counties located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

ABOUT VISIT HERSHEY & HARRISBURG                                                                                                                                        

Visit Hershey & Harrisburg is the official non-profit partnership-based Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) leading economic growth for Pennsylvania’s Hershey & Harrisburg Region through destination marketing and tourism development. The organization, accredited by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) since 2010, is committed to actively marketing the tourism assets in Dauphin & Perry County to business and leisure travelers both domestic & international. The bureau also leads regional sales efforts to attract meeting & event organizers, sporting event producers, and group tour leaders.


Author: Rick Dunlap

Public Relations Director
Visit Hershey & Harrisburg
3211 North Front Street, Suite 301 A, Harrisburg, PA 17110