St. Lucie County, in partnership with the City of Fort Pierce and the Treasure Coast Sports Commission, has secured the 2016 Southern Kingfish Association’s National Championship Tournament to be held in Fort Pierce Nov. 7-13. The event is expected to draw hundreds of anglers and tournament sponsors from around the country bringing positive economic impact and exposure to the area.
Fort Pierce was the host location in 2010 for the SKA’s National Championship Tournament, generating an estimated $750,000 in economic impact, but with the Fort Pierce City Marina’s recent expansion and a healthier economy, county and city officials are hopeful that the event will bring 250-300 teams to the area generating an even larger economic impact. The Treasure Coast Sports Commission (TCSC), which is funded by the St. Lucie County Tourist Development Council using county tourist taxes, will be the funding agency for the event. In addition to the 2016 host agreement, the SKA has committed to hosting the nationals every three years in Fort Pierce and during off years, the SKA has agreed to add Fort Pierce to the tournament’s Pro Tour schedule.
“The mission of the Treasure Coast Sports Commission’s mission is not only to recruit sporting events, but to retain them. This multi-year contract allows us to work with the SKA on an annual basis, rather than just every three years. This is excellent for our area and hopefully sets the stage to bring future national tournaments by other fishing organizations to Fort Pierce,” said Rick Hatcher, executive director of the Treasure Coast Sports Commission.
St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky, who also serves as the chairman of the Tourist Development Council, was instrumental in securing the event making the initial contact to Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) proposing Fort Pierce as its next host city. “We all are familiar with the connotation of the Treasure Coast. To anglers they know that our fishing grounds are a treasure trove in themselves. With securing this agreement with the Southern Kingfish Association with a multi-year commitment, our area businesses, hoteliers, restaurants, and tourist venues will benefit annually from the treasures they will experience.”
St. Lucie, Florida is home to the historic City of Fort Pierce, the vibrant City of Port St. Lucie and the beautiful uncrowded beaches of Hutchinson Island. St. Lucie is located on the Atlantic Ocean along the east coast of Florida, 120 miles southeast of Orlando and 115 miles north of Miami with direct access from Florida’s Turnpike, Interstate 95 and State Road 70. The area offers an array of visitor activities including beautiful beaches, championship golf, outdoor and nature adventures for eco-tourists, a thriving arts and cultural scene, world class fishing and dozens of unique attractions. A variety of affordable accommodations such as hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, vacation condos/homes and an all-inclusive resort are available. For more details visit www.visitstluciefla.com.