Sports commission: Tournament a ‘Slam Dunk’ for Sussex County

Matthew J. Robinson of the Delaware Sports Commission spoke before the Sussex County Council this week regarding the success of Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament.

“Really, why I’m here today is, one, to thank, and, two, share on the success of the tournament,” said Robinson at the council’s Jan. 24 meeting. “I think it’s been a great example of cooperation.”

The basketball tournament was held for its third consecutive year in December 2016, at Cape Henlopen High School, after an 11-year hiatus.

Robinson said the Delaware Sports Commission is charged with looking to bring sport events to the state for proposes of economic development.

Identified as one of the elite high-school tournaments in the country, 80 percent of attendees are from Delaware, with more than 1,2000 fans attending over the three-day tournament.

Robinson said more than 75 percent of visitors to the area for the tournament left with a favorable impression of Sussex County, with 85 percent of those event visitors dining out at least once while in the area. More than 50 percent of attendees from outside the area spent at least one night in hotel.

Social media played a large role in the event, said Robinson, noting that, this year, the tournament received 2.6 million impressions on the hashtag #SlamDunkDE.

Robinson said the event has had a twofold impact — bringing national recognition and economic impact in Sussex County, while providing an event that Sussex County is proud of.

He also thanked the county council for their continued financial support of the tournament.

“Speaking for me personally, I’m very pleased at what you guys have done in the last three years,” said Council President Michael Vincent.

Councilman George Cole said that numerous legislators from local, county and state levels attended the tournament, which is good for the event.

The council will next meet on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 10 a.m.