Tennis tournaments continue to have a major economic impact locally

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023–2:20 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

In 2022, the Wings Over North Georgia Air Show and the Rome River Jam had the biggest economic impacts on the local economy. However, various tennis tournaments held throughout the year provided an even greater impact.

According to numbers presented during Wednesday’s Tourism Committee meeting, the air show had an estimated impact of $2,303,682, which was down by about 50% from 2021. Meanwhile, River Jam brought in $1,521,772, which is down by 67% from the previous year.

Meanwhile, tournaments at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College and the tennis center downtown have an economic impact of around $6,000,000 annually.

“The tennis center has been open, this will be our sixth July,” Smith said. “For the indoor courts, this will be our second May. Overall, if you look at the time it has been open, you are looking at almost $30,000,000. We are looking at separating our indoor events with a separate economic impact number and our exterior events so it will really show the difference.”

Bonds were rolled out for the indoor courts, which were a special purpose, local option sales tax project. Smith added that both facilities have been easily paid for through the economic impact.

In 2022, Rome hosted the ACC Men’s and Women’s Championships, the Georgia Elite Classic (8th-12th graders), and the ITA Cup, along with several USTA events such as the Georgia Adult League Championships, the Southern Adult League Mixed Championships, the Southern Tennis On Campus Championships, the Rome Junior Open – Level 5, the Level 4 Open, the Southern Junior Team Tennis Championships, the Georgia Junior Spring Open, and the Southern Ozaki Cup.

Smaller communities seeking film industry incentives

Representatives from communities outside the metro-Atlanta area want to see some type of incentive offered for film projects that go outside of the production zones.

According to Lisa Smith with the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Rural Film Alliance has been formed to lobby the state. The group is in its infancy and has only been meeting for about two months.

In 2022, the Cotton Block in Downtown Rome was transformed as part of a television production

“Of course, there is already a film incentive here with very nice guidelines for people who do film and are near production offices,” she said. “All of us are looking at trying to see how we can benefit from having more filming in our area by approaching the state.”

The Georgia Department of Economic Development certifies projects that meet the qualifications for the Film Tax Incentive. The Georgia Department of Revenue oversees the earning and claiming of the credits.

In 2022, productions spent a record-breaking $4.4 billion in the state, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Those figures, generated by 412 productions, which include 32 feature films and 269 television and episodic productions, demonstrate the competitive advantages of having this multi-billion-dollar industry in the Peach State.

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