2014 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training Visitors Generated nearly $21 Million for Charlotte County’s Economy

(Tampa Bay, FL) Visitors attending Tampa Bay Rays spring training games in Port Charlotte generated an estimated economic impact of $20,978,500 for Charlotte County. This estimated figure includes direct and indirect spending and is based on out-of-county visitors. It does not include the spending of the Tampa Bay Rays organization, visiting teams or media staying in the destination.

This estimated figure is based on research the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau commissioned Research Data Services, Inc., of Tampa, to conduct during the 2014 spring training season which ran from Feb. 28 to March 29.

Highlights of the research include:

·   Of the 78,624 people who attended the 2014 Tampa Bay Rays home spring training games, 39 percent were Charlotte County residents or seasonal residents;

·   Of the non-Charlotte County resident attendees, 68 percent came from other Florida counties, 22.7 percent from other states in the U.S. and 9.3 percent hailed from other countries;

·   The typical overnight visitor party had a median party size of 2 people and spent on average five nights in the area;

·   More than half the respondents attended regular season Tampa Bay Rays games at Tropicana Field in 2013;

·   In addition to spring training baseball, the top five activities out-of-town visitors enjoyed were:

Dining Out

Shopping

Beach/Walking on the Beach

Relaxing

Bars/Nightlife

Each year, the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau conducts marketing, sales and promotional campaigns to increase awareness of and visitation to Charlotte County. In addition to generating economic contributions, the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau is also focused on developing soft adventure or eco-tourism, a low-impact industry enabling the county to preserve the invaluable natural resources that contribute to its ecological health, distinguish the area and draw visitors.

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CBS Sports and NFL Network Team Up For Thursday Night Football

(New York, NY) CBS Sports and NFL Network today announced plans for extensive on-site pre-game and post-game coverage for its broadcasts of Thursday Night Football. The networks team up for over two hours of coverage, featuring CBS Sports and NFL Network analysts and reporters, originating from the site of each game for all 15 weeks, beginning at 6:00 PM, ET on NFL Network and continuing through kick-off at 8:25 PM, ET.

At 7:30 PM ET, host James Brown is joined by analysts Deion Sanders and Bill Cowher. The show will air on CBS and be simulcast on NFL Network weeks 2-8, and on NFL Network during weeks 9-16. Brown, Cowher and Sanders will also provide halftime coverage.

Additionally, each week Thursday Night Football coverage will conclude with a live post-game show airing both on CBS and NFL Network.

The networks will utilize two sets each week on location with the joint studio team contributing across all shows leading up to kick-off and post-game. One set will be positioned in the stadium, while the other set will be located outside the venue. The full talent lineup for the pre-game and post-game coverage of Thursday Night Football will be announced this summer.

The full slate of 16 regular-season Thursday Night Football games will be produced by CBS with its broadcasters and production team, including Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.  The Thursday Night Football schedule kicks off on September 11 with Steelers vs. Ravens from Baltimore. 

2014 Thursday Night Football Schedule

Kickoff times are 8:25 PM ET unless otherwise noted.

Sept. 11 (Week 2):

Steelers at Ravens

Nov. 6 (Week 10):  

Browns at Bengals

Sept. 18 (Week 3):

Buccaneers at Falcons

Nov. 13 (Week 11):

Bills at Dolphins

Sept. 25 (Week 4):

Giants at Redskins

Nov. 20 (Week 12):

Chiefs at Raiders

Oct. 2    (Week 5):

Vikings at Packers

Dec. 4  (Week 14):  

Cowboys at Bears

Oct. 9   (Week 6): 

Colts at Texans

Dec. 11 (Week 15): 

Cardinals at Rams

Oct. 16 (Week 7): 

Jets at Patriots

Dec. 18 (Week 16): 

Titans at Jaguars

Oct. 23 (Week 8): 

Chargers at Broncos

Dec. 20 (Week 16): 

Eagles at Redskins*

Oct. 30 (Week 9): 

Saints at Panthers

Dec. 20 (Week 16): 

Chargers at 49ers*

Weeks 2-8 and one of the Saturday games from Week 16 will be broadcast by CBS and simulcast on NFL Network. Weeks 9-12 and 14-16, including one of the Saturday games during Week 16 will be televised by NFL Network.

*The kickoff times for each of the Saturday games – Philadelphia at Washington and San Diego at San Francisco – will be determined at a later date.

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2014 St. Petersburg Bowl to be played December 26th at Tropicana Field

                                     

(St. Petersburg, FL) The St. Petersburg Bowl will play its 2014 game on Friday, Dec. 26, at 8 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. The game, which will once again air on ESPN, is in its first-year of its new conference affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the American Athletic Conference.

“We’re very happy with our new post-Christmas date and having it fall on a Friday night should make it even more attractive for Tampa Bay area football fans, as well as those who will be traveling to our market from the two schools,” said Brett Dulaney, St. Petersburg Bowl Executive Director.

With the new conference agreements starting this upcoming season, the 2014 game will mark the first-time the ACC has a bowl game in the Tampa Bay region. Meanwhile, the American is set to place one of its teams in the St. Petersburg Bowl for the first time since 2010. The league sent USF, Rutgers and Louisville from 2008-10 while it was known as the BIG EAST.

“We are one of only two games for the ACC where the teams and fans can enjoy a bowl week experience in a tropical climate with events on the beach,” added Dulaney. “There’s an excellent opportunity to secure a top American team this year with the new conference affiliation.  I have heard from many schools that if they don’t advance to the new playoffs they would look forward to spending bowl week with us in St. Petersburg.”

The ACC will have 15 teams available in its bowl process: Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

The American will have the following 11 schools in the league this year: Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, UCF and USF. 

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