PENNSYLVANIA — Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger announced $5 million in grants were awarded through DCED’s Sports Marketing and Tourism Program to help bring nationally-known sporting events to Pennsylvania. The funding builds on Governor Josh Shapiro’s commitment to explore innovative initiatives that will spur economic development in the Commonwealth.
The Sports Marketing and Tourism Program was created to attract high-quality, amateur, and professional sporting and e-sports events to Pennsylvania. The goal of the investment in the program is to capitalize on the influx of tourism that comes with hosting a major national or international event, which can increase sales to both large and small businesses in the surrounding area and in turn boost the regional economy, as well as improve the quality of life for residents.
“Pennsylvania is hosting a series of incredibly exciting events in the coming years, and I’m thrilled that we can support some of them through this program,” said DCED Secretary Rick Siger. “The Commonwealth will be at the center of the sports world at events like the 2026 World Cup, where it’s estimated at least 450,000 people will visit our state from around the world, providing a tremendous boost to the economy.”
The Sports Marketing and Tourism Program grants were awarded to the following organizations:
- Philadelphia Soccer was awarded $2.5 million for the 2026 World Cup, with matches to be held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The funds will be used for the operational costs in planning, developing, and executing a safe, seamless, and successful FIFA World Cup tournament and Fan Fest.
- The United States Golf Association (USGA) was awarded a total of $2.43 million; $1.215 million for the 2025 United States Men’s Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont and $1.215 for the 2024 United States Women’s Open at the Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster. For the 2025 Men’s Open, The USGA plans to use the grant funds towards the site fees associated with hosting the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club. For the 2024 Women’s Open, the USGA plans to use the grant funds towards the rental of tents and towards the supplies and equipment necessary to host the event and ensure the spectators are realizing the expected experience
- Happy Valley Adventure Bureau was awarded $70,000 for the 2023 Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in State College. The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau will use the funds to help offset expenses associated with marketing, site fees, on-site hospitality, and general costs that pertain to conducting the event.
Eligible program applicants include a municipality, a local authority, a nonprofit organization, or a legal entity that meets all of the following criteria:
- The applicant participates or plans to participate in a competitive selection process;
- The site selection process is conducted by a Site Selection Organization not located in Pennsylvania; and
- The applicant is seeking to secure a single year or multiyear commitment from a site selection organization to conduct high quality, amateur and professional sporting or esports events at one or more locations in Pennsylvania.