Sports Business Journal Unveils the 2024 Best Sports Business Cities for Attracting and Hosting Events

Orlando ranked No. 1 as the Best Sports Business City for Attracting and Hosting Events

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 18, 2024) – Sports Business Journal (SBJ) presents its much-anticipated 2024 Best Sports Business Cities (BSBC) rankings, a comprehensive analysis focusing on U.S. cities that have demonstrated recent success in attracting and hosting a diverse array of sporting events. The unveiling of this year’s results is a testament to the booming sports travel and tourism sector, with significant investments, increased sporting event bids and a surge in municipal funding earmarked for event attraction.

The 2024 BSBC list emphasizes cities’ success in event hosting and after thorough research, Orlando has been named as SBJ’s Best Sports Business City for Attracting Events. In unveiling this year’s rankings, SBJ highlights Orlando’s exceptional achievements and the city’s landscape, and recognizes the critical role these cities play in the ever-growing sports business industry.

“Orlando’s elevation to the top spot in this year’s rankings is a testament to the vibrant collaboration between world-class venues, dedicated sports commissions, and the enthusiastic community that makes Orlando a standout destination for sports business,” said Abe Madkour, publisher and executive editor at SBJ. “Congratulations to Orlando and all the cities on the list who are making such a positive business impact in their local markets and nationwide.”

These rankings are the result of an extensive database, including 1,500 events that took place or were awarded from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2023, while considering cities with their own convention space, sports venues, and dedicated sports commission/CVB staff as stand-alone markets.

Orlando’s ascent to the top position is due to the concerted and strategic effort to create a premier destination for sports events. The Greater Orlando Sports Commission has played a pivotal role, working to attract and host myriad events, from NCAA competition in various sports to major league championships and industry conferences.

The announcement was made locally at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, one of more than 35 sports venues in the greater Orlando area.

“Thanks to the power of partnerships, we’ve worked to make Orlando the nation’s premier sports event destination. We recognize that sports have the power to bring residents together, provide memorable experiences, showcase our city’s hospitality and vibrancy and drive economic growth by helping welcome more visitors to our region,” said City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “This recognition from the Sports Business Journal highlights the important role that sports plays in our community and is something that all of Orlando can be proud of.”

“I am thrilled and honored that Orlando has been recognized as the #1 Best Sports Business City for Attracting and Hosting Events in the nation. This is a testament to our world-class venues, our diverse and talented workforce, and our vibrant and resilient community,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “Orlando is not only the ultimate destination for visitors, but also a premier location for sports events, teams, and businesses. We will continue to invest in our infrastructure, our people, and our partnerships to ensure that Orlando and Orange County remain the leaders in sports business for years to come.”

“On behalf of the Chairman of our Board, Sharon Line Clary, the 119 board members at the Greater Orlando Sports Commission, and our partners at the City of Orlando and Lake, Seminole, Orange and Osceola Counties, thank you to Abe and the leadership team at Sports Business Journal for recognizing our inclusive and collaborate sports tourism community,” said Jason Siegel, President and CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission. “Being at the forefront of event hosting is not just an honor for us; it’s a reflection of our dedication to providing athletes, fans, and stakeholders with exceptional experiences and world-class hospitality.”

“To see the growth of sports from when we first arrived in Orlando in 1989 to today is truly remarkable,” said Alex Martins, CEO of the Orlando Magic and Chair of the UCF Board of Trustees. “We truly believe teamwork among our political, community and business leaders has made this recognition a reality and made Central Florida a truly great place to live, work and play. The future is certainly bright as we use the power of sport to bring people together.”

Rounding out the top five cities are Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Indianapolis. Each of these markets has a dynamic mix of events that serve sports industry. The full list and the methodology behind their rankings can be found in the March 18, 2024, edition of Sports Business Journal.


About Sports Business Journal

Sports Business Journal (SBJ), a subsidiary of Leaders Group Sports, an Advance company, sits at the epicenter of the sports industry. Headquartered in Charlotte, SBJ provides the news, the networking and the data to equip the most powerful executives in sports business to make more informed decisions, deals and partnerships. SBJ’s award-winning media content is delivered through multiple media platforms, hallmark events and market-leading data. To learn more visit:


About Greater Orlando Sports Commission

The Greater Orlando Sports Commission (GO Sports) is a private, nonprofit organization established to attract and manage sports-related events, conferences and activities that drive positive economic development in the City of Orlando, Lake County, Orange County, Osceola County, and Seminole County. Founded in 1992-93, the organization has hosted or co-hosted more than 1,660 events in the Greater Orlando area with a total economic impact exceeding $3.3 billion in spending within the community. For more information, visit