Sports Tourism

A Program of Enhance Iowa

Enhance Iowa's Sports Tourism Program will provide financial assistance for projects that market or promote sporting events in Iowa. Eligible sporting events include professional, collegiate and amateur level sporting events that occur in Iowa. Promotion/marketing activity can occur for up to two years.

Cities, counties, Iowa not-for-profit economic development organizations or other Iowa not-for-profit organizations, including those that sponsor or support sporting events are eligible to apply for assistance of up to 50% of the eligible cost to actively promote or market an eligible sporting event. Eligible applicants can apply jointly.

A convention and visitors bureau (CVB) is an eligible applicant, unless the entity has received financial assistance under the Regional Sports Authority Program in the same fiscal year.

Examples of eligible expenses include:
Payments to vendors, advertising, equipment rental, promotional materials and production costs

Examples of ineligible expenses include:
Bid fees; rights fees; solicitation efforts or lobbying fees; travel costs of applicant staff, meals, dining or alcoholic beverages; items that are purchased for resale; prizes given to participants; costs related to infrastructure or ongoing costs of a facility; and expenses incurred prior to the Enhance Iowa Board approval.
Applications will be accepted on the first of the month starting Feb. 1 through June 1, 2022, or until program funds are fully allocated. Applications should be submitted to enhanceiowa@iowaeda.com.  Awards will be considered during the Enhance Iowa Board meeting the following month, if no questions are posed by Board members or IEDA staff during application review. If funds remain after the review and approval of applications received on or before June 1, 2022, IEDA and the Enhance Iowa Board will reassess the schedule and consider a quarterly application deadline. Faxed or mailed applications will not be accepted.

Application must be submitted to IEDA at least 90 days prior to the scheduled event.

Scoring Criteria:
1. The impact of the project on local, regional and statewide economies. Economic impact will be measured by hotel room nights generated by the event. Does the event and marketing have a local, regional or statewide (out-of-state) impact? Maximum score – 30
2. The extent to which the sporting event to be promoted/marketed is new, unique, innovative or diverse. New events will receive the most points. Does this event bring something new to the area? To Iowa? Does the event or proposed marketing reach a group not typically reached? Maximum score – 30
3. Quality and size of project. How well was the project described? Will it result in positive advertising or media coverage? Maximum score – 20
4. Leverage or ratio of public-to-private investment and local support demonstrated. A larger private investment will result in a higher score. Maximum score - 20

An application must receive an average score of 75 score to be eligible for funding.

Grant amount and match: Grant requests cannot exceed $500,000 or 50% of the total proposed marketing/promotion budget. Matching funds must be identified and documented. Grant funds will be disbursed on a reimbursement basis.
For more information, contact:

Alaina Santizo

Maicie Pohlman

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