Race fans, what a finish! The Federated Auto Parts 400, held Saturday, September 9, 2017, at Richmond Raceway (RR) in Henrico County, promised to bring excitement, and it delivered. The outcome of the race – the last chance for drivers to qualify for the "Chase for the Cup" (NASCAR’s version of the playoffs) – was determined in last-lap dramatics.
Our hearts go out to Martin Truex Jr., who dominated the infamous short track but fell short of winning after a last-lap (overtime) collision with Denny Hamlin. Truex’s heart was broken by Kyle Larson, driving car No. 42. Truex ultimately finished in 20th place.
Heartache of another kind was also experienced during the race as spectators witnessed fan favorite and legend Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final appearance at RR.
The excitement of sporting events held in Henrico is simply another reason why visitors, residents, and employers like QTS and Altria enjoy being here. When it comes to sporting events, it’s “Game on!” in Henrico.
Sports Tourism in Henrico
Sports tourism in Henrico is fueled by RR and Henrico’s outstanding park network, which encompasses 26 miles of trails and just over 4,000 acres of parkland. The County’s park system also includes well-maintained sporting facilities that host major softball, soccer and baseball tournaments throughout the year. You’ll also find football, rugby, karate, softball, basketball, ultimate Frisbee, flag football, lacrosse, baton-twirling, vollyeball, soccer, and baseball tournaments taking place at various complexes within Henrico. (Learn more.)
“In 2016, we hosted 16 different types of sports, for a total of 137 tournaments,” says Jason Schilling, Sports Tourism Coordinator, Henrico County Recreation & Parks.
According to Schilling, the overall economic impact of sports tourism last year reached $46 million in Henrico. All indications are the economic figures for 2017, available after the first of the year, will be just as favorable.
“Our ability to attract new regional and national events is at an all-time high, says Schilling. “Henrico has exceptional sports facilities, hotels, restaurants and attractions, which make the County appealing for sports clients. Over the last 12 months, we’ve successfully added new events such as the ISSA World Series and USA Softball State Championships.”
Schilling reports that these events bring in around 100 teams each and that USA Softball has already tripled its bookings with Henrico for next year. In addition to these new events, Henrico continues to attract repeat business.
“In August, we hosted the Babe Ruth Baseball 14U World Series, the fourth World Series event in Henrico since the opening of the Glen Allen Stadium,” says Schilling. “This event brings in the top 10 14U Babe Ruth teams in the country to compete for the national title. Teams stay in Henrico for upwards of 10 days for this event. Hawaii was the champion this year.”
2017 Dominion Energy Charity Classic Brings PGA Elites to Henrico
In addition to the tournaments hosted by the County’s Recreation & Parks system, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic is another recurring sports attraction for Henrico. Tickets are still available for this event that regularly attracts PGA legends.
From October 20 to 22, residents and visitors will witness the most elite senior players in the world vying for the top spot in the PGA Champions Tour. It will be world-class golf in a top-flight setting.
The Dominion Energy Charity Classic is held at The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course in Henrico County, which is known for being as tough as it is beautiful. The top 72 players from the regular season will travel to Henrico to compete in the first tournament of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. The $2 million purse ensures the tournament will draw an incredible field of standouts. The event will be broadcast on the Golf Channel, the exclusive cable provider of the PGA TOUR Champions, reaching in excess of 205 countries and territories and more than 145 million households.
Come out and join area visitors, county residents and business leaders in the fun. Get your tickets for the Dominion Energy Charity Classic today and enjoy some amazing sports in Henrico!